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CONVICTION REINSTATED IN IDAHO `POPCORN' CASE

A district judge has affirmed a jury's decision in Rexburg's much-publicized "popcorn" case and has reinstated a trespassing conviction.

Seventh District Judge Marvin Smith, Idaho Falls, this week issued his decision in a long-running dispute that started in May 1991 when two women tried to take a bag of popcorn purchased elsewhere into the Holiday Theater in Rexburg.The manager tried to stop Joan Bowman, now of Layton, Utah, and her sister, Susan Anderson, Rexburg, from taking the popcorn into the theater and a dispute led to police being called. The women were arrested.

Bowman, formerly of Idaho Falls, was convicted of obstructing justice, battery on a police officer and trespassing. After the trial, Magistrate Colin Luke dismissed the trespassing count.

Bowman appealed to district court, but in a 23-page decision Smith said there was enough evidence to convict the women.

Bowman will be sentenced on the trespassing charge, but no date has been set. The women filed a tort claim against the city and the officers, which has been denied. No lawsuit has been filed.