Area woman jailed in S.D. on multiple charges

WORTHINGTON -- Judge Jeffrey Flynn told 28-year-old Gretchen Marie Scott earlier this week her pre-sentence investigation report read like a poorly written novel.


WORTHINGTON -- Judge Jeffrey Flynn told 28-year-old Gretchen Marie Scott earlier this week her pre-sentence investigation report read like a poorly written novel.

"You act as though the law is merely a suggestion," he stated during a sentencing hearing in Nobles County District Court.

Scott, also known as Gretchen Marie DeGuara, told Flynn she has had a drug problem for a long time, and to be able to be a productive member of society, she needs to stay away from drugs and alcohol.

Yet after being charged with drug possession two years ago in Murray County, she stated in court she had nothing to do with any kind of narcotics and insisted the accusations were false.

Scott has a long criminal history full of charges of forgery, stolen checks, burglary, assault, theft and receiving stolen property.


In 2008, she was charged with possession of a controlled substance after a search warrant in her home resulted in the discovery of more than 1,000 prescription pills. The warrant was executed after an informant said Scott had provided him with methadone that day and several times in the past. In his report, the officer wrote that in his opinion, Scott made up excuses and lied about things regularly.

The charges were later dismissed. The pills found in bottles with labels had her husband's name on the outside.

In 2009, after being charged with felony-level counts of forgery, theft and counterfeit check in three counties, Scott asked the courts to continue her hearings until after one of her children had surgery so she could assist with his care. Shortly afterward, she disappeared. Warrants went out for her arrest in Nobles, Lyon and Murray counties.

Months later, she turned up in a South Dakota jail on check forgery-type charges. She eventually ended up in a South Dakota prison. The prison contacted the Minnesota counties regarding the outstanding warrants and allowed Scott to be transported to Minnesota to answer to the charges.

In early October, Scott's attorney reached a plea agreement with the Nobles County Attorney's Office. Scott pleaded guilty to theft by check over $500 and theft, both felonies, and the other charges were dismissed. She was given a 17-month prison sentence, with execution of that sentence stayed on the condition she serve 90 days in the Nobles County Jail with credit for time served. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amounts of $1,010 and $815 on the two cases.

According to Scott, she had at least five more months to serve in the South Dakota prison on her crimes in that state, but her newest felony convictions in Minnesota might add to that time.

"Why not just demand execution of your sentence here?" Flynn asked.

Scott's attorney, Terry Vajgrt, explained that unless Flynn ordered Scott to get credit in Minnesota for time served in the South Dakota prison, it would not be in her best interest to execute the sentence because she wouldn't qualify for the meth treatment program.


"What reason does anyone have to believe you will finish meth treatment?" Flynn asked Scott.

Scott said she could participate in the first five months of the program while still in prison, then spend several months in a halfway house. If she didn't successfully complete the program, she would go back to prison, she said.

After looking through the pre-sentence report and checking several of Scott's files, Flynn looked over at her.

"I'm not inclined to give you credit in Minnesota for the prison time in South Dakota," he stated, restacking the pile of files with Scott's name on them. "I think you got quite a deal to start with."

Scott, who was on probation for an aggravated forgery case in Murray County in 2007, was sentenced last week to 15 months in prison in that county's court by Judge David Christensen, to be served concurrently with the prison sentence in South Dakota.

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