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Forum News Service, Published January 24 2014

Woman pleads guilty in broom-beating case

GRAND FORKS - Tamara Voll, in the middle of her trial on a felony charge of physically abusing her stepson, pleaded guilty Friday to a lesser charge of misdemeanor assault for hitting him with a broom last spring in their home.

Voll, 48, was on trial last week in state district court in Grand Forks on a charge that carries a top prison sentence of five years.

After the trial’s first day, a defense witness reported a medical condition needing treatment and Judge Debbie Kleven recessed the trial until Friday.

In the meantime, a plea deal was reached.

Voll pleaded guilty Friday to Class B misdemeanor assault. Kleven sentenced her to four days in jail and a year of unsupervised probation, including no contact with her stepson.

She was given credit for one day already served in jail and allowed to serve 30 hours of community service in lieu of the other three days in jail.

The boy told police last May that Voll hit him about his head and shoulders during a dispute in their Grand Forks home over whether he was cleaning the house as ordered.

He’s now 15 and living in a foster home in another town and testified that doesn’t want to live again with his father and stepmother, who now live in East Grand Forks, Minn.