A man who faked his death after stealing $27,000 from a Bonner County woman's estate has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Vernall L. Marschall, 43, was convicted of grand theft by a Kootenai County jury in December.First District Judge James Judd sentenced Marschall on Friday. The judge also ordered the defendant to undergo 120 days of evaluation at North Idaho's Correctional Institute at Cottonwood. If Marschall successfully completes that evaluation, he could be eligible for probation.
Judd also ordered Marschall to pay restitution in an amount to be determined later.
Prosecutors said Marschall, pretending to be an attorney, had received money from relatives of Bonnie J. Heinke in Wisconsin and from the sale of lakefront property the elderly woman owned in Bonner County.
The defendant deposited the funds in his personal bank account in Hayden Lake, prosecutors said.
Marschall disappeared Jan. 9, 1987. He abandoned his boat on Lake Coeur d'Alene, making it appear as though he'd drowned while duck hunting, authorities said.
Marschall was arrested in March 1987 in Denver and accused of attempting to extort $20,000 from a Texas family.
Meanwhile, Kate Beasley, the niece of Heinke, said Friday that Marschall has also been ordered to pay a civil judgment of $440,135 to the Heinke heirs.