January 27, 2014 - 1:35 PM
KELOWNA – Tieja MacLaughlin, the Kelowna reporter charged with threatening her hockey player boyfriend, has made bail and is out of jail.
MacLaughlin’s lawyer, Anthony Ochs, says she posted $10,000 bail and was released. As a condition of her bail, she has surrendered her passport and must remain in Benton County until the case is resolved.
“It’s still very early,” he says. “We’re still determining how we’re going to approach a resolution.”
He said more information may be released soon. MacLaughlin referred questions to her lawyer and said she is following his advice by not talking to the media about what happened.
Prosecutors had initially requested bail be set at $50,000.
“My guess (why bail was so high) is due to the fact that she is a Canadian resident without any local ties to the community," he says.
If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.
“This is a Class C felony, which is the lowest class of felony here in Washington,” Ochs says.
Ochs says he doubts MacLaughlin would receive a maximum penalty if convicted but says it is too early to tell.
“There’s no telling what may or may not happen.”
MacLaughlin faces charges of felony harassment with domestic violence in a dispute with her former lover. She has denied that she threatened him and said he threatened that he was going to ruin her career. She is currently in Kennewick, Washington awaiting trial.
In a prepared statement, Ochs says, "Ms. MacLaughlin is recovering from the obvious emotional distress she suffered after spending the past week in a foreign jail. She'd like to extend her gratitude to the family, friends, and even strangers, who have shown their concern and support as we work together with the prosecution to resolve this matter in a cooperative and efficient manner. As stated in court, Tieja has no criminal history and would like to sincerely express that she would wish no harm upon any person. Tieja is unable to comment further at this time and asks that her privacy is respected as the legal process is carried out."
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014