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home : opinion : letters to the editor
September 16, 2019

7/26/2019 9:12:00 AM
Haugen shares thoughts on Alford plea

July 11 marked the one year anniversary of my resignation of a position I worked over 20 years.
As many in our community may be aware from the local newspaper article published at Christmas as well as on the local radio news, not to mention gossip and rumors, I was charged with theft by swindle in relation to my employment. Many may also be aware that my plea agreement is what is known as an Alford plea. What may not be known, however, is what an Alford plea is. An Alford plea is one where a person who maintains his/her innocence but chooses the Alford plea by way of not taking on the risk of a jury trial. Based on legal advice, I believe the risk and consequences for me and my family if I were to lose at trial, despite my not committing the alleged crimes, the Alford plea was agreed upon. By doing so, I was able to negotiate the terms of the penalty, rather than risk a greater penalty. Despite this plea, I am innocent of the charges. Should it be determined at an upcoming restitution hearing that I would owe any money, it will be paid back, but there was never any theft by swindle/intent to commit the alleged crimes. There is a great deal of evidence relating to these charges and the public will never really see the whole case. The evidence tells a different story than the charges. I am only writing this to defend my character and my name. We live in a small town and I love this community. Many friends have been supportive of me and my family. If anyone wishes to discuss this case with me in a civilized manner, I would be more than happy to discuss. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
     - Kera Haugen

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