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Libby man accused of stalking store employee will go on trial

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
The Western News | July 26, 2022 7:00 AM

The matter of a Libby man accused of stalking a local grocery store employee will go to trial.

Keith Archer Carlson, 76, is facing one felony count of stalking. He was arrested on March 25, 2022, after numerous incidents that allegedly began in the summer of 2021.

Lincoln County Attorney Marcia Boris and public defender Scott B. Johnson both agreed the trial would require two days. A date has yet to be scheduled.

According to court documents, Carlson allegedly approached a woman who worked at the store and asked her to have coffee. She told the request was inappropriate and the behavior was unacceptable. Carlson told the woman he could respect that.

A few weeks later, the woman said Carlson approached her and said he would be buying a one-way train ticket to Minnesota. She told him to enjoy Minnesota.

Then, in November, Carlson allegedly gave the woman a card. She said she accepted it with the hope Carlson would go away. She said she didn’t read the card and gave it to her manager. The woman said other store managers said the card talked about Carlson and her spending time in heaven.

A store manager then spoke to Carlson and told him “this needs to stop,” according to the court document. Carlson allegedly said it wouldn’t happen again.

On March 12, Carlson allegedly approached the woman in an employee-only section of the store to tell her he loves her. The woman called police. When she spoke to Libby Police Officer Ian Smith, he said the woman was scared, concerned for her safety and on the verge of tears.

Then, on March 23, Carlson allegedly returned to the store and gave a note apologizing for his behavior to a store manager.

Smith wrote in the charging document that Carlson was convicted of second-degree stalking in Alaska.

Carlson is free after posting bail.

His conditions of release include not possessing any firearms, knives, ammunition or other types of weapons, including chemical agents. He was also ordered to not have any contact with any victim or witness in the case. Also, he is not permitted to use or possess illegal drugs or alcohol.

The maximum sentence for stalking is 5 years in the Montana State Prison.