Parolee Charged with Murder

Parolee Charged with Murder

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Gene Kennedy & Sandra Yi ReportingThere's a reward for the arrest of an ex-con accused of murder. James Tolbert has been on the run for two weeks, since Ann Poulson's body was found in her Murray home.

Prosecutors have charged James Tolbert with murder, and now there's a reward: up to $5,000 for his arrest.

Dan Maxwell, Poulson's brother, said, "She just been the most loving, caring considerate, charitable person."

Parolee Charged with Murder

Relatives say Ann Poulson only wanted the best for James Tolbert, whom she met in prison. Poulson visited inmates as part of church volunteer program.

"Her concern was he become a good, productive, integrative member of society," Maxwell said.

Now Tolbert is charged with Poulson's murder. Court documents reveal Tolbert strangled her with a belt, and that belt has his DNA on it.

A day after the murder, a Salt Lake City police officer unaware of the murder saw Tolbert at Sugarhouse Park, where Poulson's car was later found.

Charging documents say at the time, Tolbert was having trouble breathing and admitted to overdosing on heroin. Police took Tolbert to the hospital; he's been on the run since.

"He cannot be this well hidden this long without some kind of assistance from somebody," Maxwell said.

That's what concerns police, who say Tolbert has a pattern of turning on people he knows. In 1987 Tolbert strangled his wife and dumped her body in the Jordan River. And before Poulsen's murder Tolbert allegedly assaulted a friend in Woods Cross. There's a warrant for his arrest in that case too.

Authorities believe Tolbert may now be with family or friends, in Nevada.

Murray police detective Jeff Maglish said, "Somebody thinks that they're doing him a favor, when in reality they can have themselves in danger."

Police don't know a motive, but Tolbert violated his parole the day of the murder, and Poulson's brother thinks Poulson was killed when she refused to help him.

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