Rebecca Marie Maskell, 24, has been arraigned on one count of first-degree theft from a family support fund for the late Sedro-Woolley High School baseball coach Brad Conn.
MOUNT VERNON — A woman has pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge accusing her of stealing money from an online fundraising campaign organized to support the family of Brad Conn, a Sedro-Woolley High School baseball coach and administrator who died Jan. 10, 2015.
Rebecca Marie Maskell, 24, appeared before Judge Susan Cook in Skagit County Superior Court to be arraigned on one count of first-degree theft, a felony.
Prosecutors allege Maskell took about $8,000 from a now-defunct fundraiser on the website GoFundMe.com that she reportedly helped set up to raise money for Conn’s family shortly after his death, according to court documents.
Conn, the baseball coach at Sedro-Woolley High School for 17 seasons, died at Skagit Valley Hospital after a heart procedure. He was 47.
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More than 1,000 people attended a memorial service last January at Bethany Covenant Church in Mount Vernon to pay tribute to Conn, known affectionately by many as “Chaka.”
In court last week, Deputy Prosecutor Rosemary Kaholokula sought to have Maskell arrested and booked into Skagit County Jail, with bail set at $50,000. The prosecutor alleged that Maskell showed flagrant disregard for the Conn family and contributors to the fundraiser.
“I think that this case is more egregious than usual,” Kaholokula said.
Defense lawyer Karen Denise Wilson argued that the nature of the accusations matter only if Maskell is convicted. Wilson said defendants charged with first-degree theft are seldom held in custody. She told Cook that Maskell has no criminal history and promises to make all court appearances.
“I don’t believe the nature of this charge indicates she is a danger to the community,” Wilson said.
Cook quashed a warrant prosecutors had issued and allowed Maskell to remain free while the case is pending. The judge ordered Maskell to maintain a residence in Mount Vernon, stay in touch with her lawyer and not miss court. Maskell is not allowed to contact Brad Conn’s wife or his children.
A March 21 trial date was set.