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Plea deal for B.C. woman in U.S. threat case

KENNEWICK, Wash. - A freelance journalist from British Columbia has reportedly reached a plea deal over allegations she went to the Washington state and threatened to kill her boyfriend, who is a minor hockey player for the Tri-Cities Americans WHL hockey team.

Tieja MacLaughlin, 25, was arrested last month in Kennewick, Wash., after her boyfriend, Jackson Playfair, called police about phone and text conversations. Playfair, 19, is a forward for the Tri-Cities Americans.

MacLaughlin was initially charged with one count of felony harassment with domestic violence, but the Tri-City Herald reported Thursday that the charge was lowered to gross misdemeanour harassment. She spent a week in jail until she was released on $10,000 bail.

The newspaper reported MacLaughlin pleaded innocent and the charge will be dropped after one year if MacLaughlin follows a list of conditions.

Under the terms of the plea deal, MacLaughlin was allowed to return to Canada on the condition that she seek mental-health treatment, the newspaper reported. She is not allowed to contact Playfair, the newspaper said.

After a year, the charge will be dismissed, the paper said.

Prosecutors and MacLaughlin's lawyer did not immediately respond to calls and emails to confirm the plea deal.

MacLaughlin is from Kelowna, where she has worked for the Kelowna Daily Courier and online news website Castanet, among other outlets.

Court documents filed when charges were laid alleged MacLaughlin became upset after Playfair admitted having an affair with another woman and drove to Kennewick from Kelowna.

Playfair told police MacLaughlin threatened to kill him, the documents alleged.

MacLaughlin denied threatening Playfair. The Tri-City Herald reported that MacLaughlin told police it was Playfair who threatened her, saying he would ruin her career.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version wrongly said MacLaughlin pleaded guilty

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