Couple who died stole grant money; 3 others charged

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a couple who died in a murder-suicide last year stole hundreds of thousands of dollars in funds that were partly intended to go toward improving Native Americans' college readiness.

Jackley said Wednesday that investigators believe the total amount of money that Scott and Nicole Westerhuis (WEST'-er-house) stole likely exceeded $1 million.

He says three other people associated with the GEAR UP grant program are also facing felony charges stemming from the investigation launched after Scott Westerhuis fatally shot his wife and their four children before setting fire to their house near Platte and then shooting himself.

Scott Westerhuis was business manager for Mid-Central Educational Cooperative, which managed the GEAR UP grant program.