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Alton man found guilty after March incident

August 02, 2011
LACONIA — Erick Thorell of Alton was found guilty on July 26 of two counts of felony criminal threatening, felonious use of a firearm, simple assault and resisting arrest after a jury trial in Beknap County Superior Court.

Thorell was charged after an incident in Alton on March 10 in which he brandished an assault rifle. The incident resulted in an initial response from six members of the Alton Police Department. After Thorell barricaded himself in his residence, still armed with an A/R 15 rifle, the Belknap Regional Special Operations Group was called to the scene. The Special Operations Group provided 15 additional officers to the scene along with their armored rescue vehicle and specialized equipment. The team maintained a perimeter and officers from the Alton Police Department obtained an arrest warrant. Thorell was ultimately arrested after a team from the Special Operations Group made entry into the residence.

Belknap County Attorney Melissa Guldbrandsen prosecuted the case.

"I'm very proud of the collaborative efforts of the Alton Police Department and the Belknap Regional Special Operations Group," she said. "This combined effort from first response, to investigation, arrest and successful prosecution highlights the benefits of law enforcement teamwork to protect the public safety of Belknap County. Individual departments in the county benefit from specialized equipment and additional manpower offered by the Special Operations Group. I'm impressed by the professionalism of all officers involved with this case."

Thorell is being held without bail at the Belknap County House of Corrections pending sentencing by the Superior Court. State law imposes mandatory minimum penalties of three years in prison for firearm related felony offenses.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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