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Jury Enters Deliberation After State v. Hubers Closing Arguments

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The jury is deliberating after hearing closing arguments for the State v. Hubers trial this morning in Sioux Falls. The defendant Stephanie Hubers is accused of receiving more than $55-thousand worth of checks from her boss Scott Westerhuis for work she didn’t perform. 

The prosecution emphasizes that as Mid-Central Educational Cooperative’s assistant business manager, Hubers knew she was receiving money from the American Indian Institute for Innovation while the organization still owed thousands of dollars and needed assistance to make payroll. They also note her statement to law enforcement that her involvement with AIII was “nothing” other than cashing a check.

The defense argues that the case is about was Hubers knew in 2009 when her boss offered her a raise—not what the state thinks she should have known. They suggest Scott Westerhuis gave the raise as a means of control, and Hubers’s friendship does not keep her from being subject to his controlling nature.

The defense also argues that each charge requires a display of “specific intent.” They argue that’s lacking on all counts.

In its response, the prosecution addresses the possibility that Hubers had “honest and reasonable claim” to the checks she received. They propose there’s nothing honest or reasonable about submitting false invoices and collecting checks for services that the defendant knew she didn’t perform.

The jury is considering multiple counts of grand theft, grand theft by deception, and alternate counts of receiving stolen property. They entered deliberations shortly before noon.