Burglaries suspect competent, to plead guilty

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Jan. 14—WASECA — A Janesville man suspected in a rash of fall thefts has been found mentally competent and is preparing to plead guilty to charges in Waseca County.

Luke Duane Olson, 35, of Janesville, is suspected in over a dozen burglaries and thefts in Waseca County as well as several more in Le Sueur County in September and October.

Charges initially filed in Waseca County in October involved five burglaries while others were still under investigation. The charges were amended Thursday and he now is facing 21 felony and one misdemeanor charge.

In November Olson's attorney requested his mental competency be evaluated. The results of the evaluation were reviewed at a virtual hearing Friday.

The court-appointed examiner found Olson was not mentally impaired beyond capability of knowing right from wrong, Judge Carol Hanks said. The evaluator also found he does not qualify for an involuntary intoxication defense, she said.

Defense attorney Dawn Johnson and County Attorney Rachel Cornelius Androli indicated they are proceeding toward a plea agreement in which Olson will plead guilty to three felony burglary charges.

A settlement conference is scheduled for Feb. 2.

The cases against Olson in Le Sueur County are still in an early stage.

Olson is in the Waseca County Jail on the pending charges and for violating probation on an arson conviction this fall. He set fire to the Frankenstein monster statue in Janesville.

A hearing on Olson's request to be released to an inpatient treatment program is to occur next week.

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