Marion murder case still ongoing after Friday settlement conference

A settlement conference was held off the record Friday in the homicide case against Nicole Veranda Wagner, but nothing was determined. Instead, a status conference will be scheduled in two weeks, according to 49th Circuit Court.

REED CITY — The Marion woman who police say shot and killed a woman last summer following an argument earlier in the day is still working her way through the court system after her April trial was adjourned.

A settlement conference was held off the record Friday in the case against Nicole Veranda Wagner, but nothing was determined. Instead, a status conference will be scheduled in two weeks, according to 49th Circuit Court.

Wagner was scheduled to have her trial on murder charges earlier this month in Osceola County's 49th Circuit Court. The four-day April trial was scheduled due to both sides failing to reach an agreement regarding the details of a potential plea. The trial, however, was adjourned due to COVID restrictions and the settlement conference was scheduled. No new date has been scheduled for a trial.

Court records indicated on Oct. 30, 2020, a plea hearing was adjourned when there was confusion regarding the factual basis of the plea. There was no mention of what the plea was. Court records also indicated a stipulation hearing was scheduled for a presentencing agreement before a plea was taken on Nov. 13, but that also was adjourned.

On Dec. 23, 2020, court records showed Wagner was supposed to enter a plea, but it ultimately was held off the record and adjourned until a Jan. 22 status conference. With no agreement in place after the Jan. 22 status conference, the four-day trial was scheduled.

During her June 2020 arraignment in 77th District Court, Wagner acknowledged that she understood the charges brought against her. By standing mute, a plea of not guilty was automatically entered on Wagner's behalf.

In August 2020, Wagner waived her 49th Circuit Court arraignment but was charged with one count each of second-degree murder and homicide manslaughter for her connection with an incident on June 9 at a residence on 90th Ave near 19 mile Road in Highland Township.

The charges in question are only accusations. Wagner is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. The prosecution has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

According to a press release from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were dispatched to a gunshot victim at the Highland Township residence in June 2020.

Natasha Nicole-Lee Beebe, a 29-year-old Marion resident, was shot in the neck area by a pistol and died on scene as life-saving measures were attempted by Osceola County deputies and Osceola County EMS.

At the time of the incident, former Osceola County Sheriff Ed Williams said Beebe had been involved in an argument with Wagner earlier in the day on June 9, 2020, but left the area at some point. Later on, she returned and was shot and killed.

On June 11, 2020, Wagner was arraigned in 77th District Court via Zoom from the Osceola County Jail. 

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