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Wheelchair-bound paraplegic to serve prison term for assault

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GRANITE FALLS -- A paraplegic convicted of assault when he pulled a pistol and pointed it at a township supervisor will serve a minimum of 14 months in prison.

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Allen Chancey Olson, 56, of Canby, must begin serving the sentence immediately, according to a sentencing order issued by District Judge Bruce Christopherson in Granite Falls on Wednesday.

The judge committed Olson, who is bound to a wheelchair, to the Commission of Corrections for 21 months, ordering that he serve 14 months in prison and seven months of supervised release.

The judge also ordered Olson forfeit the .357 caliber King Cobra firearm used in the crime, as well as a 20-gauge, side-by-side double barrel shotgun and ammunition Sheriff's deputies seized from him.

Olson was granted credit for 39 days served in jail.

A Yellow Medicine County jury returned a guilty verdict Aug. 12 against Olson on felony charges of second-degree assault -- dangerous weapon and terrorist threats -- reckless disregard of risk.

Testimony presented during a two-day trial indicated Olson became agitated when township supervisor Cutis Melby came to his farm property outside Canby on July 23.

Olson drew a pistol from his right side, cocked the hammer and pointed it at the supervisor.

Melby testified that Olson told him to leave or he would be hurt.

The township supervisor was a former classmate of Olson's and had volunteered to deliver unwelcome news to him, even though Olson had a reputation for being easily agitated and carrying a firearm, according to court records.

Olson was upset with plans by the township to remove a clump of trees along a roadway.

Melby told him that a survey determined the trees were within the township's right-of-way.

Melby had told authorities that he and Olson had a nice conversation until he delivered the news of the survey.

Sheriff's officers met with Olson one day later at the Yellow Medicine County fairgrounds in Canby and placed him under arrest.

They seized the shotgun and ammunition that he had kept in a stock sleeve inside his pickup truck.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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