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Defendant Takes Stand in Last Day of Testimony for State v. Hubers

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The defense rests and all evidence has been offered in the State vs. Hubers trial in Sioux Falls.  The final witness was the defendant Stephanie Hubers, who recalled both her professional and personal relationships with the Westerhuis family. 

Before Hubers took the stand, the defense called a second former Mid-Central coworker of hers to testify Thursday morning. She also received additional payment through AIII from Scott Westerhuis. The witness tearfully agreed he was difficult to work with, and she never questioned his authority to pay her for extra work. However, she quit her job a few months after the payments stopped.

Defendant Stephanie Hubers was the final witness. She testifies Scott Westerhuis first hired her as an administrative assistant at Mid-Central. Over time, he trained her to reconcile bank statements, and Nicole Westerhuis trained her to manage payroll. In mid-2009, Scott Westerhuis told Hubers he felt she deserved a $10 thousand a year raise for her extra responsibilities. Later, he told her Mid-Central’s director didn’t think the board would approve it. So instead, Westerhuis told Hubers to file monthly invoices for a set amount that totaled about $10 thousand a year.

The prosecution points out that the invoices reference grant set up fees, and there’s no evidence Hubers set up any grants. They also note that as assistant business manager, Hubers would have known AIII owed Mid-Central thousands of dollars even as she was receiving checks from AIII. She says she filed the invoices as she was instructed by the Westerhuises. Hubers admits it was a shock when payments stopped in 2014, but she didn’t ask for an explanation.

Hubers became emotional when discussing her close relationship with Scott’s mother Pat Westerhuis. She tearfully said she didn’t know the Westerhuises were stealing, and she still can’t believe it. 

Both sides will offer closing statements Friday morning before handing the case to the jury for a verdict.