28-year-old Retina Reyellen LaValla — who is accused of misappropriating GoFundMe funds raised on behalf of three missing boaters in Baudette, MN — has a trial date set.
LaValla’s lawyer, Alan Bradley Fish, argued LaValla’s trial should be moved to another county to ensure she has “an unbiased jury pool,” and Judge Donna Dixon approved.
LaValla is scheduled for a three-day trial from Sept. 28-30 in Koochiching County. Judge Dixon will preside over the case.
In three months, almost 400 people donated more than $27,000 to the GoFundMe page after Justin Haugtvedt, 22, Cody Ostendorf, 24, and Keith Ayers, 28, went missing in a boating accident Oct. 3 on Lake of the Woods.
We previously reported on LaValla’s attorney’s interesting defense of his client, arguing that she technically didn’t have to turn over every penny she raised to the men’s families as national charities like the Red Cross keep a percentage of donations for themselves as well.
Her lawyer also argues that she did eventually turn over 100% of the funds raised. After a sizeable loan from her dad, that is.
We will be following this one closely and keep you updated!