Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Former Sheriff Von Thompson Turns Himself in for Swindling 91-year-old

Former Kanabec County Sheriff Von Thompson, who has been charged with four felonies and has eluded local police for more than a week, turned himself in to the county sheriff on Tuesday.

Thompson was charged in October with swindling a 91-year-old man of more than $179,000. After being judged a "low flight risk," the judge rejected a county prosecutor's request that bail be set for $25,000 and released Thompson on his own recognizance.

But on Nov. 26, a warrant for his arrest was issued after he violated terms of his release by allegedly continuing to solicit money from people. The judge recommended that bail be set at $20,000. Mora police, however, said last week that they were unable to find Thompson to arrest him.

After media reports about him being a fugitive, Thompson turned himself in early Tuesday after contacting a Kanabec County sheriff's investigator, Sheriff Steve Schulz said. "It's the first time any of my deputies saw him" since a warrant was issued, Schulz said.

Mora Police Chief Chris Olson could not be reached for comment.

Kanabec County Attorney Amy Brosnahan said her office requested bail be set at $20,000 as recommended last week but the judge set it at $10,000 instead during a hearing in Pine County. Brosnahan declined to comment further about the case.

Schulz said Thompson posted the bail later in the day and was released from jail.

Thompson's next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 16.

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