A jury has convicted a young mountain man on charges of helping his father kidnap an Olympic skier to be his backwoods bride.
The jury, which deliberated 10 1/2 hours Monday night, also acquitted Dan Nichols, 20, on charges of deliberate homicide and aggravated assault. But it found him guilty on a charge of assault. He could be sentenced to 10 years in state prison.
Nichols was charged with the July 15 abduction of Kari Swenson, 24, the murder next day of Alan Goldstein--a co-worker who tried to rescue her--and assault in shooting Swenson during the rescue attempt while she was chained to a tree.
Nichols’ father, Don Nichols, 54, will be tried later on the same charges.
Swenson, a member of the U.S. Olympic team, sat in the front row of the packed courtroom with her family.
Swenson was abducted while jogging on a mountain trail and was chained to a tree overnight. Dan Nichols testified that his father had been planning to capture a young woman to be the son’s sexual mate in the wilderness.
On the day following the kidnaping, Goldstein and another man came upon the campsite. The father testified he shot Goldstein in the head. The son admitted he shot Swenson in the shoulder, saying he panicked when his father told him to “shut her up.”
The father and son fled into the rugged hills and eluded an extensive manhunt for five months.