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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — A 38-year-old Boyceville man has been charged with perjury and bail jumping in connection with testifying under oath that he did not possess items which he subsequently put up for sale online.
Joshua L. Arbuckle made an initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court June 8 before Judge James Peterson on two felony counts of perjury and bail jumping and misdemeanor counts of theft of movable property worth less than $2,500, with a repeater modifier, and three misdemeanor counts of bail jumping.
Judge Peterson set bail with a $1,000 signature bond and, as a condition of bail, ordered Arbuckle not to sell any property that was part of a small claims case in Dunn County Circuit Court last year.
According to the criminal complaint, a Dunn County deputy received an e-mail message from the mother of a woman who had been in a relationship with Arbuckle. The e-mail message included screenshots from Facebook, and in her e-mail message, the woman told the deputy Arbuckle was selling property that belongs to her daughter even though Arbuckle had told a Dunn County judge he did not have the property in his possession.
The deputy reviewed a small claims case from 2019 involving Arbuckle and the younger woman. Judge Peterson presided over the small claims case in a court trial on June 27, 2019.
The woman testified when she ended her relationship with Arbuckle, she had moved out and had left several items behind, including a charcoal sofa, a matching table lamp and floor lamp, step bunk beds, and a matching tile top end table and coffee table.
Arbuckle testified the woman had moved out six months ago, and the items had been “cleared out.” Arbuckle told the court the couch and the coffee table were still at his home but the bunk beds and end table were gone, according to the complaint.
Judge Peterson ruled that the property belonged to the woman and issued a Writ of Replevin for the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department to attempt to retrieve the items from Arbuckle’s home on the woman’s behalf, according to the complaint.
The woman testified on August 7, 2019, that she had not obtained any of her property, and Judge Peterson issued a judgement on her behalf.
The deputy requested a copy from the Dunn County Clerk of Courts office of the Writ of Replevin that listed the bunk beds, the sofa, the coffee table and the end table. The writ had been returned by another Dunn County deputy as unserved, the complaint states.
The deputy then checked Facebook, found the “Anything for Sale in Eau Claire” group and located an entry Arbuckle posted on May 21 listing the bunk beds for sale for $300 and that they were in Boyceville. The deputy took screenshots of the Facebook entry and the photographs of the items, followed the link in the listing and landed on Arbuckle’s Facebook profile.
The profile listed Arbuckle’s date of birth, which was the same date of birth for Arbuckle listed on in-house records, according to the complaint.
The deputy spoke with the woman, who confirmed the photographs of the items for sale online were her bunk beds and that she did not consent to Arbuckle selling them. Later on, the woman e-mailed pictures to the deputy she had found on Facebook and had circled the couch, the end table and the coffee table in Arbuckle’s living room. The deputy recognized the photograph with the couch as Arbuckle’s profile picture that had been set on May 4. The photograph of an infant on the couch also had been designated as Arbuckle’s profile picture, according to the complaint.
The woman sent photographs to the deputy of documents detailing the cost of the items. The bunk beds had cost $549, the end table had cost $156.93, the coffee table had cost $179.35 and the couch had cost $588.12 for a total of $1,473.40.
According to the complaint, the photos show Arbuckle possessed the woman’s property as of May 4 in contempt of court. Arbuckle listed the woman’s property for sale on May 21 after he had testified he did not have the items almost a year earlier on June 27, 2019, indicating he had perjured himself while under oath in court. In addition, Arbuckle possessed the woman’s property without intending to return the items to her.
The deputy reviewed online court records and found that when Arbuckle testified in court on June 27, 2019, he was free on bail ($200 cash) in another Dunn County felony case for which the charges eventually were dismissed in November of 2019. Court records also show on June 27, 2019, Arbuckle was out on bail in three other misdemeanor cases, too ($500 signature bond; $1,000 signature bond; $500 signature bond). Arbuckle pleaded no contest and was found guilty on three misdemeanor charges of unauthorized use of food stamps and bail jumping in November of 2019 while all of the other misdemeanor charges were dismissed.
According to the criminal complaint, officers went to Arbuckle’s home in Boyceville on June 5 to take him into custody, but no one answered the door. Later on, a neighbor called to say his car had arrived, and a woman had gone into the house. The same neighbor called again to say Arbuckle had left in the car. One of the officers went to Arbuckle’s place of employment in Boyceville, took him into custody and transported him to the Dunn County jail.
Arbuckle is scheduled for another court appearance in Dunn County August 4.