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Published September 28, 2010, 08:11 AM

Man convicted of spiking trees in northern Minn.

WALKER, Minn. (AP) — A jury has convicted a Backus man for his role in "spiking" hundreds of trees in northern Minnesota.

WALKER, Minn. (AP) — A jury has convicted a Backus man for his role in "spiking" hundreds of trees in northern Minnesota.

Cass County Attorney Christopher Strandlie says 52-year-old Stephen Thomas Olson was convicted Friday after a three-day trial.

Jurors deliberated about three hours before convicting Olson of felony criminal damage to property and gross misdemeanor damage to timber.

Last November, the Cass County Land Department found more than 500 trees had been damaged with 6-inch pole barn nails. A sign posted near the gate read "II in each tree!" next to a smiley face.

Jurors heard evidence that Olson was angry that red pine trees on county land were going to be logged. The county attorney says Olson and two teenage boys pounded the nails into the trees over the next week.

Olson was sent to jail to await sentencing Oct. 18.

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