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Not guilty due to mental disease: Man ordered committed for 31+ years after attack on 13-year-old neighbor

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Brian Olson

RICHFIELD — A man accused in connection with a brutal attack on his 13-year-old neighbor in Richfield in August has been ordered committed.

Brian Olson, 47, on Jan. 11 pleaded no contest, and was found guilty but not guilty due to mental disease/defect on two counts — mayhem, use of a dangerous weapon and failing to comply with an officer taking a person into custody.

He was then ordered committed for 31 1/2 years. He was remanded into jail pending placement.


Prosecutors say Olson brutally beat his 13-year-old neighbor on August 14th, as the teen was mowing his parents’ lawn. The boy was on a riding lawnmower when prosecutors say Olson grabbed a hammer from his garage and hit the boy in the head.

The child’s parents heard a “loud, high-pitched, blood-curdling scream,” the criminal complaint says, and the child was found bleeding from the head, unconscious.

Brian Scott Olson

Washington County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said the case was bizarre from the beginning.

“The 13-year-old was using the family lawnmower and then had these serious injuries to his head and it didn’t make sense,” Schmidt said.

The victim’s father found him unresponsive outside the family’s home on Wexford Circle, a subdivision known for its tranquility. ¬†Through their investigation, authorities gathered strong evidence Olson was behind the beating.

A temporary felony warrant was issued for his arrest. A photo and vehicle description was sent out to the public.

On Aug. 16, an employee at Holy Hill spotted the suspect car in a parking lot and called police.

Sheriff Schmidt said Olson resisted arrest and wanted to die.

“He wanted deputies to shoot him,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said deputies had to use force to arrest him.

“They used several Tasers on him as he tried to run away,” Schmidt said.

After his arrest, Olson was placed inside the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, pending an evaluation with a doctor. His mother indicated to police her son is a paranoid schizophrenic and had been going through a rough patch in the weeks leading up to the alleged attack.

During an interview, the complaint says Olson indicated he was “fed up about being mistreated by people in his neighborhood.” The complaint indicates he told investigators “I attacked whoever was on the lawnmower” and also told police he didn’t know who was on it at the time. At first, he said, he didn’t even remember he had a hammer.

The complaint says he told investigators he wanted to die, saying “he’s in love with the thought of no tomorrow.”

The 13-year-old boy suffered multiple skull fractures and was medically sedated so his body could heal.

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