A former Pagosa Springs educator took a plea deal Tuesday and was sentenced to one year of probation for an incident of trespass and theft that involved the particulars of a messy divorce and the associated decrees.
Lisa Crosslin (formerly Lisa Hudson, a teacher and counselor in School District 50 Jt. and a principal at Pagosa Springs Intermediate School)) and her husband, Terri Crosslin, both of Edmond, Okla., simultaneously entered pleas of “no contest” in District Court Tuesday morning as part of plea deals that included deferred charges of first-degree criminal trespass, a class-five felony, and misdemeanor charges of theft under $500.
The plea deal was the same for both Crosslins, with one felony charge and one misdemeanor charge.
The deferred sentence means that, if and when the Crosslins successfully complete the terms of their probation sentences, their records would show the felony charge as dismissed.
Should either of the duo fail to complete the terms of his or her probation, that individual’s record would show a conviction on the felony count.
After the plea deals were accepted by District Court Judge Gregory Lyman, the pair was immediately sentenced to one year of probation.
The charges stem from an incident in which the Crosslins entered the Pagosa Springs home of her ex-husband, Paul Hudson, last October — before the pair’s divorce decree gave her sole ownership of the home — and taking items.
Original charges against each Crosslin were filed on Jan. 27 and included a class-three felony count of second-degree burglary and class-four theft ($1,000-$20,000).
At the time of the trespass, Lisa Crosslin was paying the mortgage on the home to avoid it going further in arrears, but temporary orders of the divorce left ownership of the house with Hudson, said Richard Jaye, attorney for the Crosslins, in a Tuesday interview.
Two weeks later, permanent ownership of the house was given to Lisa Crosslin, she said, but she had already received a letter from Hudson stating that he had vacated the home and moved out of state by the time she entered the home.
“She was exercising what she thought were her marital rights,” Jaye said in court, adding that entering the property without a court order was a mistake.
At the hearing, Jaye, Deputy District Attorney Alex Lowe and the Crosslins admitted that the pair had no criminal intent, but nevertheless, committed a criminal act.
“I am regretful,” Lisa Crosslin said at the hearing.
In addition to the probation, the Crosslins either have to return property taken from the house or a request for them to pay $1,750 in restitution will be filed.
Jaye said during the hearing that public knowledge of the issue had caused Lisa Crosslin a lot of public shame and had adversely affected her employment in Oklahoma.
Lisa Crosslin currently serves as a school principal in Oklahoma, but had taken a position next year at a new middle school in Edmond.
After Oklahoma media caught wind of the story, Crosslin chose to resign from next year’s job and maintain her current position, which Jaye indicated may be in danger.
Lowe said the no contest plea was offered in attempts to help Lisa Crosslin keep her current job.
“We appreciate the opportunity to have a plea deal,” Lisa Crosslin said after the hearing, adding, “I’m obviously very sorry for the pain and embarrassment ... I caused anyone here.”
“It was an error in judgement on our part,” Terri Crosslin said.