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Polson man sentenced to 60 years

Aug 14, 2023

Aug. 3—With a criminal record that reaches back to his juvenile years, Tyler Frederick Erickson, age 30 of Polson, has run through a string of public defenders and other attorneys while navigating the Lake County legal system and the Montana Supreme Court.

Judge Deborah "Kim" Christopher on July 27 committed Erickson to the Montana State Prison for 30 years on each of two felonies — one count of felony criminal mischief and one count of felony threats and other improper influence in official and political matters.

The judge sentenced him to 60 years total, no time suspended, to run consecutively with his prior 26-year sentence.

Erickson's latest issues with the law began on May 21, 2021, when he was already on probation. With a tip from a confidential informant and with the authorization of probation and parole, law enforcement searched Erickson's residence and found a vial containing two plastic baggies.

When tested by the Montana State Crime Lab, one was found to contain amphetamine and the other contained heroin. Erickson was charged with two counts of felony possession of dangerous drugs and was found guilty in December 2021 and sentenced to two eight-year sentences.

Tyler appealed this case to the Montana Supreme Court arguing that he needed to know the name of the confidential informant "to have a fair trial, because without the testimony from the informant, there would not have been probable cause to conduct a search of [his] residence with the level of force that was used." The Supreme Court disagreed.

Then, on Dec. 10, 2021, after becoming angry in court, Erickson threw the courtroom counsel table on its side and damaged the speaker. He also broke the TV screen with his elbow.

Erickson was escorted to a holding cell, where he stepped out of his belly chain, then used the belly chain to hit both video cameras, breaking one. He also hit the glass on the door between the holding cell and the jail and broke it.

In addition, he threatened law enforcement staff because he did not want to go into solitary confinement but into the general jail population.

The cost to replace and repair items was in excess of $1,500.