Jury renders guilty verdict in perjury case

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SANDPOINT — A Bonner County woman was convicted Tuesday of perjuring her testimony in a felony assault case.

A jury of six men and six women deliberated for about an hour before rendering a guilty verdict against Megan Marie Albertson.

Albertson, 34, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 27 in 1st District Court. She faces one to 14 years in prison, according to Idaho Code.

Albertson was one three people who were charged with the felony offense after testifying in a November 2017 preliminary hearing in an aggravated assault case against Brandon Scott Cramer, who was accused of threatening two people with a pistol during a confrontation on Dry Creek Road the previous month.

Albertson, WendyJo Cramer and Steven Craig Walkup testified that Cramer was with them, effectively providing an alibi that led to the dismissal of the charges.

“Well, somebody came in here and told a lot of perjury,” Judge Justin Julian said during the preliminary hearing. “There’s no reconciling the two stories between the state’s witnesses and the defense’s witnesses. But I can’t tell who’s lying.”

Bonner County Deputy Nick Lepire told jurors that WendyJo Cramer and Albertson high-fived each other in court after Julian dismissed the charges without prejudice.

However, the nature of the dismissal allowed them the re-filed. The hearing testimony also produced perjury charges against Brandon Cramer’s alibi witnesses.

A sheriff’s deputy who investigated the assault case testified during Albertson’s trial, as did a witness who placed Brandon Cramer at the scene of the armed confrontation.

Bonner County Intern Prosecutor Josh Smith said Albertson’s perjured testimony undermined a bedrock principle of the justice system by swearing under oath to tell the truth and then betraying that oath.

“It’s essential to our system,” Smith said of the oath during closing arguments.

Public Defender Serra Woods argued Albertson did not knowingly commit perjury.

“She didn’t do this on purpose. She had nothing to gain by testifying,” Woods told jurors.

During the state’s rebuttal, Lepire reminded jurors that Alberston admitted on the stand in her trial that her original testimony was not true.

“Of course she knew it wasn’t true,” Lepire said.

WendyJo Cramer, 23, entered into a pretrial settlement agreement to resolve her case, court records show. She was sentenced to 10 days in jail and 100 hours of community service. Walkup, 31, pled to an amended charge of attempted perjury and also received a 10-day sentence, court documents indicate.

Brandon Cramer, 33, entered Alford pleas to resolve his case. Under such a plea, a defendant denies wrongdoing but concedes a conviction could result if the matter went to trial. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Monday.

Keith Kinnaird can be reached by email at kkinnaird@bonnercountydailybee.com and follow him on Twitter @KeithDailyBee.

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