Second blackmail suspect to plead guilty
September 12, 2013
The former Carroll woman who allegedly had an affair with her father-in-law and tried to blackmail him for $55,555 will plead guilty this month to the crime and avoid prison, according to court records.
Elizabeth Aschinger, 24, faces one felony charge for extortion, punishable by up to five years in prison.
She allegedly gave information about the affair and her father-in-law's cellphone number to two men, who in April threatened the father-in-law - Randall Aschinger, 59, a Lake View farmer - that they would tell his wife about the affair unless he paid them the money.
Elizabeth Aschinger will plead guilty on Sept. 24, court records show. She will get a deferred judgment in exchange for the plea, Sac County Attorney Ben Smith said. That means she will not be a felon nor go to prison if she abides the terms of her probation.
One of the two men that investigators tied to the blackmail scheme with cellphone records pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit extortion last month. Jason D. Heffelmeier, 39, of Buckingham, also got a deferred judgment with the plea deal.
The other alleged conspirator, Andrew Menken, 37, a former Carroll County juvenile court officer, denies that he was part of the scheme. He faces two felony charges for extortion and theft. No trial date has been set.
Heffelmeier has agreed to testify against Menken if the case goes to trial.
Elizabeth Aschinger, a co-owner of Anytime Fitness in Carroll, sold her Carroll house after she was arrested for the scheme and moved to Ames, court records show.
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