November 13, 2009

Police suspect inmate was plotting murder

 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Michael Olson.
(Full-size photo)

Detectives started monitoring the inmate’s phone calls months ago.

In jail on assault and robbery charges, Michael L. Olson had allegedly fled from police after a fiery car crash in June that killed his girlfriend. He was arrested that night, accused of stealing a car and assaulting the owner, Christopher T. Fuller, 24.

Now Olson, 31, is suspected of trying to hire his cellmate at the Spokane County Jail to kill Fuller.

Investigators searched Olson’s mother’s home at 3715 N. Audubon St. on Thursday, seizing letters apparently written by Olson that discuss a murder plot, according to a search warrant filed in Spokane County District Court.

The evidence could help support charges of tampering with a witness and criminal solicitation to commit first-degree murder, according to the warrant. Detectives said they learned from Olson’s cellmate in July that Olson wanted him to kill Fuller.

“(The cellmate) said that Olson’s mother was willing to assist Olson in avoiding jail time and he is aware that Michael Olson has spoken with Lynda Olson about assisting him,” according to the search warrant prepared by sheriff’s Detective Lyle Johnston.

Lynda Olson couldn’t be reached for comment.

In phone conversations between the Olsons, monitored by authorities, Michael Olson allegedly told his mother he wanted her to deny previous statements she’d made to detectives.

He also wanted her to help him find information on Fuller and send someone to his home “to persuade him not to testify,” according to the warrant.

Olson and his girlfriend, Marjorie A. “Amy” Harrigan, 24, met Fuller at Aces Casino, and the two asked for a ride to get a borrowed pickup.

Harrigan and Olson assaulted Fuller and stole his Acura, police said, and were spotted by officers a short time later. Harrigan was driving the Acura and Olson was following her in a pickup, police said.

When officers attempted to pull over the stolen Acura, Harrigan sped away and was thrown from the vehicle as it crashed into a tree and burst into flames. Olson reportedly raced away in the pickup.

Detectives believe Olson tried to influence another witness, his ex-girlfriend Alesia Conklin, by writing letters to his mother with instructions on what Conklin should tell authorities.

Conklin spoke with Olson the night of the crash when he asked for help searching for Harrigan.

“Mike Olson told Conklin about the attack on the victim, stating that Amy had used a rope around the victim’s neck and he hit the victim with a beer bottle,” according to court documents filed in July.

Michael Olson has been evaluated at Eastern State Hospital, according to court records. A stay hearing in his first-degree robbery and first-degree assault case is set for Nov. 20.


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