Jury says man is guilty of stalking

Published 12:25 pm Thursday, January 30, 2014

AUSTIN — A jury has decided Loren Bellrichard is guilty of stalking a victim younger than 18 and violating a restraining order.

The jury made its decision before noon Wednesday, and convicted Bellrichard of three counts of felony stalking and a felony charge for violating a restraining order. One charge of stalking was dismissed.

Bellrichard, 67, of Austin, testified in his own case on Tuesday, and admitted he sent letters and left gifts for the 16-year-old victim in Austin. Bellrichard admitted he spoke to an Austin police officer about the letters on two occasions. However, Bellrichard and his lawyer, Dan Donnelly, indicated no law had been broken at that point. Furthermore, they pointed out that the family and victim had never confronted Bellrichard about the letters or told him to stop.

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Regardless, Donnelly seemed content with the decision on Wednesday.

“It was a fair trial,” he said, as he walked out of the courthouse.

The victim’s father testified and read details from Bellrichard’s letters on Tuesday. The letters included references of running away together and getting married when the victim turned 18.

Bellrichard has two other jury trials scheduled in Mower County District Court. The cases stem from a furlough he received in November to attend his mother’s funeral. According to the court files, Bellrichard did not return to jail and was arrested past his furlough deadline, and he allegedly sent a letter to Mower County attorneys and a police officer, in which he threatened to burn their houses down.