Gwinnett County Superior Court Judge Kathryn Schrader will go on trial alone next week on charges of computer trespassing.
Ed Kramer, the last of the three co-defendants indicted alongside Schrader last fall, entered an Alford plea — which allows a defendant to enter a plea without admitting any guilt — during a hearing on Monday morning.
“We filed a couple of motions which will be withdrawn in light of the negotiated Alford plea on one count of computer trespassing,” Kramer’s attorney, Stephen Reba, told Judge David Sweat during a motions hearing.
Kramer, who co-founded DragonCon but has not been affiliated with the convention in several years, received a sentence of 10 years of probation for one count of computer trespassing while the other counts of that crime were dropped.
Kramer could have faced jail time if a jury convicted him of any, or all, of the three computer trespassing charges that had been filed against him.
“He was not willing to wager 50 years of his life” on what a jury might decide, Reba told Sweat.
Another co-defendant, private investigator T.J. Ward, plead guilty to two counts of computer trespassing last fall and the third co-defendant, Frank Karic reached an agreement with prosecutors last week to enter a one-year pre-trial diversion program.
Ward received a 24-month probation sentence.
Karic and Kramer are expected to testify at Schrader’s trial, according to John Regan, a prosecutor handling the case for the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia.
“At this point, we are prepared to go trial next week against Judge Schrader,” Regan said.
The case involves a bizarre tale in which Schrader believed District Attorney Danny Porter was hacking into her computer. It’s not clear why Schrader thought Porter was hacking her computer and the district attorney has denied the allegations that he did so.
Due to the allegation against Porter, the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council was brought in to prosecute the case.
Schrader hired Ward, who in turn brought in Karic and Kramer, to investigate her computer. They placed a “Sharktap” monitor on the judge’s computer, which prosecutors claim gave the co-defendants improper access to the county’s computer network.
Schrader’s trial is expected to start at 9 a.m. on Feb. 10.