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AK: Third man pleads guilty in caribou killings

December 3, 2009

Third man pleads guilty in caribou killings

KOTZEBUE -- A third man accused of killing and wasting dozens of caribou on the tundra near Point Hope in July 2008 has pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to salvage edible meat.

Lazarus Killigvuk, 26, who entered the plea Wednesday, will be sentenced for the violation in February along with Randy Oktollik, 27, and Brett Oktollik, 21, who pleaded guilty to the same charge last week.

The deals call for fines and community service but no jail time. For Killigvuk and Randy Oktollik, the deal calls for 30 hours of community service with elders and 20 hours explaining to young children the right way to harvest meat. Brett Oktollik's agreement calls for 45 hours with elders and 20 hours with children.

The men must also pay $1,360 in fines and restitution.

The other five men charged with wanton waste and failure to salvage have pleaded not guilty and are set to face a Point Hope jury in February.

The men were from two hunting parties charged with wanton waste and failing to salvage meat after Alaska Wildlife Troopers responded to a tip and found at least 37 caribou wasted at 25 kill sites stretching along the 40-mile Suicide Trail. Some of the hunters claimed they left the animals because the animals were sick and they didn't want to bring bad meat back to Point Hope.

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