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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2007

Hunting deer by 'spotlight' costs man a two-year prison sentence

August 24, 2007
BY KEITH EPPS

A man who blamed his decisions to illegally kill deer and elude police on being "stupid" was ordered yesterday to serve two years in prison.

Juan Francisco Urias, 22, of King George County pleaded guilty to eluding police, a felony, and multiple misdemeanors in King George Circuit Court.

Judge Horace A. Revercomb III sentenced him to a total of 61/2 years in prison with all but two years suspended.

After he serves his time, prosecutor Matt Britton said, Urias is scheduled to be deported because he is an illegal immigrant.

According to the evidence, game warden Frank Spuchesi set up a stakeout in the Igo Road area of King George Dec. 3 in response to suspicions of illegal hunting in that area.

About 8:15 that night, Spuchesi saw a man shine a spotlight on a deer while another man fired a shot. The shot was in the direction of the game warden, who was nearly 200 yards away.

When Spuchesi identified himself, the suspects sped away. The subsequent chase lasted just over nine miles and featured speeds of more than 90 mph.

The chase ended near the intersection of State Routes 218 and 206, where deputies had set up stinger strips in anticipation of the fleeing suspects.

Urias, the driver, immediately gave a statement in which he said he ran because he didn't want to mess up his status in the area drug court program and because "I thought I could get away."

Asked yesterday why he took such a chance instead of simply hunting legally, Urias replied, "Because I am stupid." He gave the same answer to a couple of other questions.

The other suspect, Habid J. Ramirez, 19, of King George, pleaded guilty to charges in May and was ordered to serve two months in jail.

Urias was dating Ramirez's cousin at the time, according to the evidence.

Both men told police they had spotlighted deer many times in Westmoreland, but only a couple of times in King George.

Keith Epps: kepps@freelancestar.com

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