Apr 11

Three charged following GEAR UP probe

PLATTE, S.D. (AP) — Attorney General Marty Jackley says three people have been charged in an investigation into a college readiness program that began after the deaths of a family of five at their home in Platte.

Jackley filed criminal complaints against 58 year old Daniel Guericke of White Lake, 43 year old Stephanie Hubers of Geddes, and 42 year old Stacy Lee Phelps of Rapid City. They’re charged with felonies for misconduct in the GEAR UP program.

All three have been released on bond.

Jackley earlier said his investigation had confirmed that the family’s patriarch, Scott Westerhuis, had killed his wife and four children with a shotgun before setting the family home ablaze and then shooting himself.

Westerhuis was business manager for Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, which managed the GEAR UP program that sought to improve college readiness of Native Americans.

Jackley says the investigation suggests Westerhuis and his wife conspired to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars and likely over $1 million.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press

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