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Entries in Harold Mitchell murder (3)


Bail denied for man implicated in Lake County murder

(POLSON)- A Lake County man will remain behind bars while he awaits a new trial in connection with a 7-year old Lake County murder case. 

Clifford Oldhorn was convicted of murdering former CSKT Tribal Chair Harold Mitchell, Jr. in 2005. But last year the Montana State Supreme Court raised questions about how Oldhorn's confession had been used in his 2011 trial. That prompted Lake County Judge C.B. McNeil to order a new trial. 

Oldhorn was released last month, but came back to jail on probation violations, claiming he had received threats from Mitchell's family. 

The Lake County Leader reports this week McNeil denied Oldhorn's request to reduce his $30,000 bail. Oldhorn will be back in court March 27th so attorneys can argue the county's move to revoke parole. 


Accused man's freedom short lived in Lake County

POLSON - Less than a week after being released on his own recognizance, a Lake County man convicted of a 2005 murder is back in jail.

Lake County Undersheriff Dan Yonkin tells KPAX TV Clifford Oldhorn violated the conditions of his release and was arrested Saturday morning.

Oldhorn was originally sentenced to life in prison without parole in the July 2005 death of 73-year-old Harold Mitchell Jr., a former Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal chairman. But he was released last week after a Lake County judge decided he should receive a new trial. 


Man freed in 2005 murder, state appeals

KPAX TV graphic- Lake County Leader photo(POLSON)- A man sent to prison for life in connection with the murder of a former tribal official on the Flathead Reservation is free, now that the courts have ruled part of his confession wasn't given voluntarily. 

Clifford Oldhorn was convicted in 2011 for his role in the murder of former Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Chairman Harold Mitchell Jr. Investigators say in 2005 Mitchell was stabbed and beaten and then left in his burning trailer to cover the evidence. Oldhorn finally came to trial after telling Lake County investigators what had happened. 

Oldhorn spent nearly a year and a half in prison, starting what was to have been a life term without parole.

However, last year the Montana Supreme Court ordered Lake County Judge C.B. McNeil to explain why Oldhorn's confession had been used in the trial, resulting in McNeil ruling the admission wasn't voluntary. The high court then ordered a new trial.

KPAX TV reports McNeil ordered Oldhorn to be released on his personal recognizence, pending that new trial. However, the state is still appealing the case, leaving the matter unresolved for the time being.