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MT: Authorities say man sold gun to avoid charges

August 12, 2010

Authorities say Vogel sold gun to avoid charges

VIRGINIA CITY (AP) - Authorities say Randy Vogel sold his hunting rifle because he knew game wardens could connect it to a poaching crime if they ever got a hold of it.

Closing arguments Thursday in the poaching trial for U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg's state director painted two very different pictures. The jury left to deliberate three charges related to illegally killing a spike elk.

Prosecutors say only Vogel had a caliber .270 rifle in his hunting party, so he must be responsible for the dead spike elk.

Vogel's attorney, Michael Moses of Billings, says testimony shows Vogel shot once and legally killed a cow elk.

The rifle was sold to an unidentified buyer. Moses says the defense wishes it had the rifle to prove Vogel's innocence.

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