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Sat, July 20

Judge eases probation for woman who stalked cops

Laura Jean Christianson

Laura Jean Christianson

PRESCOTT, Arizona - Laura Jean Christianson, convicted of stalking and harassing police officers in 2012, on Tuesday was granted a move from intensive probation to standard supervised probation.

Christianson, 44, of Prescott was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 15 years of intensive probation in August 2012 after pleading guilty to felony charges including stalking police officers.

Christianson reportedly drove past a police officer's home, waited in her car nearby, and showed up on calls he answered in late November 2011. Witnesses said she almost hit their van on Nov. 27, and a Prescott police officer saw her following another officer in April 2012.

As part of the plea agreement, Christianson pleaded guilty to two counts of stalking - class 5 felonies - aggravated harassment, and vehicular endangerment.

She was up for a change to the less-restrictive standard in April 2013, but Deputy County Attorney Cynthia Spitler said Christianson had been sentenced to "15 years of intensive probation... but it has been only 7 months and 7 days" since then. "It was the understanding of the Prescott Police Department that she would be on intensive probation for much longer than a year," Spitler said. Superior Court Judge Tina Ainley, whose courtroom was packed with law enforcement officers, denied the request.

The county's Adult Probation Department once again filed a request to move Christianson to standard probation in February. In it, the case officer noted that she could have been moved in August 2013, but as part of her Yavapai College curriculum, she had taken a class titled "Police Function," and the officer dropped the request.

Since then, she's changed her degree focus, no longer needs the course, and has a 4.0 grade point average at YC, so the officer re-filed the petition to modify.

On Tuesday, her attorney, Kennedy Klagge, said the system was currently "oversupervising" Christianson.

Deputy County Attorney Bob Johnson said that one victim, a Prescott Police officer, asked that the change be denied.

None of the victims or their supporters spoke in court this time.

Ainley said that "intensive probation was never intended to last the entire period of probation."

Reminding Christianson that she was not to have any contact with any of the four victims, Ainley granted the request.

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