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May 11, 2018 02:34 PM

GEAR UP Defendants Trial Delayed

Charles Mix County, SD

It's been nearly three years since the Westerhuis tragedy in Platte and our investigation began into what went wrong with the GEAR UP grant. 

Now it will be even longer before two of the people charged in the state's criminal case will go on trial. 

Defendants Dan Guericke and Stacy Phelps are accused of altering contracts to avoid an audit of the grant money after it left Mid Central Educational Cooperative. 

Guericke and Phelps were scheduled to face trial July 9. But Charles Mix County Judge Bruce Anderson has granted a request by the defense to delay the jury trial until Oct. 1. 

Despite the prosecution's objection, the judge granted the continuation because Guericke's attorney Mike Butler, has too many scheduling conflicts for the July date. 

Guericke and Phelps were granted a change of venue earlier by Judge Anderson from Charles Mix County to Minnehaha County for the trial.  

Former Mid Central Assistant Business Manager Stephanie Hubers is still scheduled to go on trial on June 25 in Sioux Falls. Hubers, who is accused of helping the Westerhuises steal grant money, was also granted a change of venue.  

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