Bellrichard pleads not guilty to escaping custody

Published 10:12 am Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Mower County inmate, charged with a felony for not returning to jail after getting a furlough to attend a funeral, has pleaded not guilty to escaping from custody.



Loren Bellrichard, 67, reportedly didn’t return to the Mower County jail on Nov. 2. He was originally in jail on charges for allegedly stalking a 16-year-old girl. Wisconsin authorities found Bellrichard on Nov. 6, four days after he was supposed to return to jail.

Police officers in Alma, Wis., about 95 miles from Austin, arrested Bellrichard that day at about 10 a.m., according to Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi. Amazi said Bellrichard apparently received a ride from someone to Winona, where he crossed the border into Wisconsin. Bellrichard was cooperative when officers arrested him, Amazi added. He was then charged with felony escape from custody on Nov. 7.

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Bellrichard was arrested in September for allegedly leaving letters and gifts for the teenage girl after he was told by police to stop. He faces three felony charges for stalking a victim younger than 18.

Bellrichard was later released after paying bail; however, he violated the terms of his release when he contacted the victim and went back to the Mower County jail in October, according to Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen.

Bellrichard pleaded not guilty and demanded a speedy trial Monday for the escape from custody charge, and he has a hearing set for Dec. 9.