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Man pleads guilty to illegally killing wolf

March 03, 2010 at 11:38 AM

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A 49-year-old Kalispell man accused of illegally shooting and killing a wolf has pleaded guilty to violating the Endangered Species Act.

Robert E. Patton appeared in federal court in Missoula on Tuesday and is free on special conditions.

Prosecutors say he reported killing a wolf that was approaching him while he was hunting deer between Kalispell and Libby on Oct. 31, 2008.

But a veterinary medical examiner with the National Wildlife Forensics Lab in Ashland, Ore., determined that the wolf was shot in the back left side.

Patton faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. No sentencing date has been set.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Don’t be to quick to judge a person guilty just because he “cops a plea.”  First, this man turned himself in.  If he was guilty does it make sense that he would do that?  Secondly, who would you believe if you were on that jury deciding this man’s fate, the lab assistant who was not there when the wolf appeared and got shot, or the hunter facing the wolf with a gun in his hand.  Third, the man met with legal council (attorneys) and they told him that they think that he is innocent, and can prove his case, but that with the trial, attorney’s fees and their own expert witnesses, jury selection experts, etc., etc., that it will cost more than the $100,000 fines for killing the wolf.  Last, why are we prosecuting a hunter for killing a wolf under any circumstances, when the latest flyer from the Natural Resources Defense Council, states that, and I quote: “The Obama Administration has kicked wolves off the Endangered Species list in Montana and Idaho, abandoning them to mass killing under state plans.”  Now, does it make sense to prosecute someone (a hunter) for killing a wolf two years ago in self defense, when according to the NRDC “...more than 500 wolves could be killed by hunters and government agents in the next year.”  If that is so, then let’s prosecute those “government agents” as well and give them a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.  You can’t have it both ways.  What the hell is happening to this country?

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/09 at 08:30 AM

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