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BURNETT COUNTY -- The Court has accepted a plea to an amended criminal charge from former Burnett County Medical Examiner, Sara Stadler.

Stadler was charged criminally following an investigation into allegations that she stole cash from a deceased person’s wallet while performing her duties as a medical examiner at the scene of the death.

The criminal complaint filed against Stadler stated that video footage showed Stadler handling a wallet and cash belonging to a deceased person while at the scene of the death, however, the Medical Examiner’s report made no mention of recovering a wallet or billfold from the scene, or of any cash being counted, and no property report log was filled out regarding any cash. When asked about the wallet, Stadler initially stated that she would mail the wallet to family members of the deceased, but instead, the wallet was located weeks later in a manila envelope at the Medical Examiner’s office. According to the criminal complaint, no cash was located, only an ID and a social security card.

Online circuit court records show that Stadler appeared on May 26, 2022, for a plea hearing regarding her criminal charges which included Class I Felony failure of a public employee to perform a non-discretionary or ministerial duty and Class G Felony theft from the person of another or from a corpse.

The Court accepted a joint proposal from the prosecution and defense counsel for Stadler to amend one of the felony counts to a charge of Misdemeanor Receiving or Concealing Stolen Property (<=$2500). Stadler entered a plea of No contest to that charge. Online circuit court records show that the court found a factual basis to accept her plea and found Stadler guilty of the amended charge.

The Court heard statements from two victims during the hearing. The Burnett County District Attorney and defense counsel for Stadler made a joint recommendation to the Court for a 24-month-long Deferred Judgment Of Conviction (DJOC) agreement.

The Court accepted the proposed DJOC and the remaining charges filed against Stadler were dismissed but read in.  The Court set a $500 signature bond for Stadler with standard conditions to continue during the course of the agreement.

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