A sentencing hearing for a former McLoud teacher charged with 31 felony counts involving inappropriate conduct with her third grade students changed midway through Friday when the teacher decided to change her plea from no contest to guilty.
Kimberly Ann Crain, 50, appeared before Pottawatomie County District Judge John Canavan for a sentencing hearing on 18 counts of sexual exploitation of a child under 12, one count of conspiracy and one count of lewd molestation, along with 11 counts of possession of child pornography.
During the morning of testimony, the defense called eight character witnesses, including a pastor, and members of the defendant's family, along with a doctor to the witness stand. After a lunch break, court was scheduled to resume wiht the prosecution presenting witnesses to testify as part of the sentencing hearing. The Pottawatomie County courtroom was packed.
But before it resumed, Crain decided to change her plea to guilty. She also read a letter aloud, addressing members of her family and the community.
Crain pleaded no contest in January, the same day her co-defendant, Gary J. Doby, 66, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 life sentences, plus concurrent 20-year and 10-year-sentences. Both entered their pleas to avoid trial.
Crain taught third grade at McLoud Elementary School until she resigned amid an ongoing investigation on Nov. 28, 2011.
Prosecutors alleged Crain, while working as a teacher, took photos of as many as 14 young girls while they were changing clothes, some in her classroom and others while at her home.
She then shared those images with Doby, a former Oklahoma Baptist University professor who lived in Pennsylvania and with whom she had an ongoing relationship.
For an in-depth story on today's sentencing, watch for updates here and see the full story in Saturday's News-Star.