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Jury finds Jefferson sheriff guilty

A jury unanimously ruled Jefferson County Sheriff Blair Olsen is guilty of three felony charges of misusing public money Wednesday.

The trial’s focus was on the cell phone paid by the county that was in possession of Olsen’s wife, Marie. The defense said the phone was kept for backup purposes in case of emergencies, but the prosecution argued it was for Marie Olsen’s personal use.

The jury took three hours to make its decision.

After the reading of the verdict, Judge Greg Moeller told the sheriff he is no longer allowed to carry a gun on his person.

Prosecuting attorney Jason Spilman said he was pleased with the outcome.

“It’s a case we felt strongly about,” he said. “I know the attorney general (Lawrence Wasden) felt strongly about pursuing misuse of public funds, so we’re pleased with the result. … I think it was a really hard, at times complex and tedious case. They did a really excellent job of staying on track and paying good attention, and they just did a really nice job.”

Olsen and his defense team left the courtroom in a hurry after the verdict was read.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 22 in Jefferson County.

The trial took place in Twin Falls County to ensure fairness.

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