Laura Seeds put on six months of house arrest

SANTA FE — The wife an Española city councilor who was found guilty of several counts of tampering with the 2016 municipal election will serve six months of house arrest.

Last month Laura Seeds, 52, was convicted of two counts of making false statements relative to the municipal election code, one count of conspiracy to violate the election code and two counts of unlawful possession of another’s absentee ballot.

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Laura Seeds,wife of Española City Councilor Robert Seeds, turns and apologizes to a state prosecutor during her sentencing hearing on election law violations Monday. District Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sentenced her to six months of house arrest. (Eddie Moore/Journal)

On Monday Santa Fe District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer sentenced Seeds to six months of house arrest followed by five years of supervised probation. She faced up to 7½ years in prison.

Assistant Attorney General Peter Valencia asked for two years in prison. Seeds’ defense attorney, Aaron Wolf, argued for a conditional discharge, which would have vacated her felony convictions if she met certain terms.

Seeds was accused of conspiring with 24-year-old Dyon Herrera to falsify several absentee ballots in favor of her husband Robert Seeds. Robert Seeds beat Cory Lewis for the Española’s District 4 seat by two votes in 2016. Lewis filed a civil suit challenging the results, but ultimately lost. Herrera took a plea deal for his involvement and agreed to testify in Seeds’ recent trial.

Seeds addressed the court Monday and said she didn’t do enough to educate herself on the election process and asked for leniency.

“And now I stand here asking for your forgiveness, and I hope the court accepts my apology,” Seeds told Marlowe Sommer.

Seeds also turned around and directly apologized to prosecutor Valencia for any arrogance she displayed at trial. Seeds testified at trial that she believed the charges against her were a “witch hunt” because Attorney General Hector Balderas didn’t want her husband to be on the Española City Council.

Seeds’ daughter, Angelica Seeds, said she depends on Seeds to care for her daughter, who was born prematurely.

“I ask you judge, to please think of me and my daughter,” Angelica Seeds said.

Seeds faces additional election law charges. She is set to go to trial next year for one count each of committing intimidation in a municipal election, coercion of a voter and disturbing a polling place in a municipal election for crimes she allegedly committed while Robert Seeds was running for Española mayor in 2018.

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