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Judge Denies Motion for Acquittal, Hubers Trial Continues


The State v. Hubers case continues with a denial of the defense’s motion to acquit. The motion comes after the state rests its case. 

The state’s final witnesses were the agent who interviewed Hubers after the Westerhuis deaths, two former board members at Mid-Central Educational Coop, and a founding member of the American Indian Institute of Innovation non-profit. Jurors also heard a second recorded interview between Hubers and law enforcement from early 2016—about five months after the housefire at the Westerhuis residence in Platte.

Scott Westerhuis was business manager for Mid-Central and CFO at AIII, which was the entity that paid Hubers monthly checks. In the second recording, Hubers says Westerhuis had a clear conflict of interest between the two, but because he was her boss at Mid-Central she didn’t say anything and did what she was told.

She also says the checks she received were for extra research she did for about 4 months. She continued to receive checks for about three years, because Nicole Westerhuis would continue to ask for an invoice.

The former Mid-Central board members testify they were unaware that Hubers was receiving money from AIII. The founding member of that organization says Scott Westerhuis was in complete control of AIII funds.

After the state rested, the defense moved for acquittal on all charges due to lack of evidence that Hubers directly stole or deceived anyone for the extra money she received. Judge Bruce Anderson ultimately denied the motion.

The defense began with a former co-worker of Hubers's from Mid-Central. The witness tearfully described Scott Westerhuis as “controlling” and “kind of a bully.” She also received checks from AIII for extra work after asking for a raise.

The CPA who conducted audits for Mid-Central for 20 years also testified. He says his firm was aware Mid-Central was fronting payroll for AIII employees, but he was unaware that Mid-Central employees were receiving extra money from AIII, or that Scott Westerhuis was also its CFO.

The defense is expected to call two more witnesses on Thursday.