Victoria Bear waives hearingVictoria Bear waived her right Wednesday morning to a preliminary hearing on a charge of homicide by negligent use of a vehicle in St Croix County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
By: Meg Heaton, Hudson Star-Observer
Victoria Bear waived her right Wednesday morning to a preliminary hearing on a charge of homicide by negligent use of a vehicle in St Croix County Circuit Court on Wednesday.
Bear is charged with causing the accident the killed Michael Strauch, 55, of Hudson on Sept. 23 on Coulee Road.
Bear, formerly of Hudson, now St. Paul, was in court with her attorney Jamie Johnson of Hudson and with her ex-husband, former Hudson School Board member Peter Bear.
Also in court were Strauch's widow Barbara and his children, Janna Neidermyer and Tim Strauch, along with extended family members.
Judge Eric Lundell explained the preliminary hearing process which requires the prosecutor to make a case that a felony was committed and that there is reason to believe Bear did it. Bear said she understood the process when asked by Lundell and that she was waiving her right to the hearing freely. The next step is an arraignment on April 21 where Bear will enter her plea to the felony charge.
Lundell agreed to let Bear remain free on a $10,000 signature bond with the conditions that she maintains absolute sobriety and that she does not drive.
Lundell asked Bear "How's sobriety going?" to which Bear responded "It's going well." When the judge asked if she was attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Bear said she was regularly seeing a counselor but was not yet attending regular AA meetings.
The charge against Bear carries a penalty of 10 years in jail and/or a $25,000 fine.