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Crime & Courts

Sentencing put off in juror harassment case

Sentencing for a rural Ottawa man was delayed Wednesday, because his defense attorney wants to check the man's criminal record.

Richard M. Thompson, 66, pleaded guilty in February to harassing two jurors outside the La Salle County Courthouse, after his son was found guilty in summer 2016 of pointing a laser-scoped pellet gun at a deputy sheriff. His son went to prison, but his conviction was overturned on appeal.

Sentencing was to be Wednesday. However, one of Thompson's attorneys, Matt Mueller of Morris, questioned in court whether Thompson was convicted of a marijuana felony in 2011 in Alexander County, as said in a report by a county probation officer.

In certain cases, probation officers prepare background reports on defendants to aid judges in determining sentence.

Mueller noted the probation officer's report was submitted April 18, which had not given him enough time to check the Alexander County case by Wednesday's hearing. Associate Judge Michael Jansz agreed to reset sentencing to Wednesday, May 9.

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