Tannahill’s teaching position uncertainHHS English teacher Bryce Tannahill may have been formally cleared of all charges in court, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be teaching this fall, according to School District Superintendent Tim Collins.
By: Bonnie St. James, The Hastings Star-Gazette
HHS English teacher Bryce Tannahill may have been formally cleared of all charges in court, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be teaching this fall, according to School District Superintendent Tim Collins.
“We, along with the district’s attorney, are still collecting information and will consider all the facts before we make a final decision,” Collins said this week.
That decision would be made in the next week or so, he said.
Tannahill was charged in December of 2008 with one gross misdemeanor count of harassment – stalking/follow/pursue; one gross misdemeanor count of harassment – return to property – no claim/right/consent; one gross misdemeanor count of interfere with privacy – enter home/stare/peep in window; and one misdemeanor count of tamper with motor vehicle/enter without owner permission, in connection with an incident in Cottage Grove.
According to the complaint filed in Washington County District Court Dec. 5, 2008, a Cottage Grove woman and her fiancé arrived home to find a “male peeping into their residence.” The woman identified Tannahill as the person she had seen peering into her windows twice before, going back to May, 2007. She said another person driving by in October also reported a person peering through a window into the residence.
The woman said she and her fiancé also found the dome light of her car on when they arrived home. Police found her sunglasses outside the car, and the woman said her make-up bag had been gone through.
Tannahill pled not guilty to the charges and elected to take the case to trial.
Before the trial, however, an agreement was reached, and Tannahill was “found innocent on all pending charges; not guilty/no charge,” according to a notice from the court to the School District.
The matter was scheduled for a pre-trial hearing June 25, but the attorneys had worked out a plea agreement, which was presented to the court. A pre-trial hearing is one in which the attorneys present to the court the evidence and witnesses they’ll be using at trial.
In the agreement the attorneys reached, District Court Judge Daniel Kammeyer dropped the gross misdemeanor two counts of harassment/stalking and one count of interference with privacy.
Tannahill agreed to an Alford plea in the misdemeanor charge of tampering with a motor vehicle.
An Alford plea in not an admission of guilt. It is not a conviction. The judge affirmed that in court.
“Based on what’s stated here and based on what’s in the probable cause portion of the complaint, I’m advised there’s a sufficient factual basis for that offense of tampering with a motor vehicle, namely all of that in my estimation adds up to your being guilty of that offense of tampering with a motor vehicle. But pursuant to the plea agreement, I’m not going to accept the plea of guilty, and we will move along to disposition,” Judge Kammeyer said, according to the court transcript.
Through the plea agreement, the judge did not accept a plea of guilty to the misdemeanor charge. In effect, that means all charges have been dropped and struck from the record.
The only way the charge can again be brought into play is if Tannahill has the same or similar violations in the next year, according to the court transcript. A judge, depending on the circumstances, could, the transcript said, turn that Alford plea into a guilty plea.
But, at the present time, there are no charges pending against Tannahill; all charges have been struck from the record. The court didn’t place him on probation.