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Extortion trial begins in Thief River Falls

THIEF RIVER FALLS — The extortion trial of Gerald Sunsdahl, 52, began Monday with jury selection.

He is accused of sending a former neighbor a crude hand-written letter threatening to kill the man and his family unless the neighbor delivered $500,000 in cash.

Sunsdahl faces a charge of attempted coercion and two charges of making terroristic threats, each a felony with a maximum prison sentence of five years.

He has pleaded not guilty.

The trial resumes today at 9 a.m. Attorneys expect it will last a day or two, depending how long the jury deliberates.

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