by April Scheinoha
A former Roseau County sheriff’s deputy was sentenced Thursday, June 9 for shooting his service gun numerous times into an unoccupied rural Roseau County hunting cabin.
Joshua McGurran Olson, 34, Roseau, entered guilty pleas and was sentenced at the same time for felony first degree criminal damage to property and misdemeanor falsely reporting a crime. Sentencing was held in Thief River Falls due to Judge Kurt Marben’s schedule. Marshall County Attorney Donald Aandal served as a special prosecutor in the case. A mug shot wasn’t available as of presstime early Thursday afternoon.
For the felony charge, Olson received a five-year stay of imposition. He was ordered to serve supervised probation for five years. If Olson successfully completes probation and the required time period passes, he may apply for the felony charge to be expunged. He was ordered to write a letter of apology to his victim. Olson was ordered to complete a chemical dependency assessment and comply with recommendations from his mental health provider. He was ordered to supply a DNA sample. Olson was ordered to not use or possess firearms, ammunition or explosives. Olson was ordered to pay $135 in fees and fines, and $2,960 in restitution.
For the misdemeanor charge, Olson was sentenced to 90 days in jail stayed for one year. The same conditions apply.
In court, Olson said he deeply regretted his actions. He thanked his family and friends for their support. His attorney, Jade Rosenfeldt, said the incident was fueled by alcohol and Olson’s struggles with mental health issues. Olson has since admitted himself into alcohol treatment.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began investigating the incident March 2. According to the complaint, a Roseau man said someone had fired numerous .223 caliber rounds through his hunting cabin. He suspected Olson since the two of them had a disagreement about Olson’s hunting party trespassing on the man’s property last fall.
A search warrant was executed for Olson’s property. He admitted to shooting the cabin and destroying the service gun by burning it in an outdoor wood stove. Olson provided the charred fragments, including the barrel, to law enforcement.
Olson also falsely reported that law enforcement had stolen a personal firearm, a Winchester rifle with a Swarovski scope, from his home. The following day, he said that he had found the rifle.