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MT: Teen loses privileges for killing deer

September 9, 2010

Teen loses privileges for killing deer

ANACONDA -- A Deer Lodge teen will lose his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for 15 years after he and a friend killed eight deer last October.

Jacob Baughman, 17, heard his sentence Wednesday in Anaconda justice court, which also ordered $2,000 in fines and $1,200 restitution.

For each deer killed, Baughman faced charges of hunting during a closed season, spotlighting and wasting a game animal. Justice of the Peace JoAnne Welch found Baughman guilty of the 24 violations following last week's bench trial, but decided to dismiss all but one charge per offense.

"As a juvenile, to punish you for the rest of your life, I don't find that appropriate," Judge Welch told Baughman during sentencing.

Baughman could have lost his hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for 72 years if given the maximum punishment allowed.

The other teen involved, 16-year-old Cody Lemm, received the same sentence as Baughman last April by a plea agreement with the state.

Both teens may not apply for any special permits for five years beyond the first 15-year suspension.

Deputy County Attorney Ellen Donohue prosecuted the case, and told The Montana Standard she agrees with the sentence.

"These animals were killed for no good reason," Donohue said.

On Oct. 16, 2009, Baughman and Lemm shot the eight deer with a .22-caliber rifle from Lemm's truck at a property along East Side Road in the Galen area.

Lemm testified during Baughman's bench trial they each took turns shooting the gun and holding the spotlight. Baughman did not testify.

Baughman's attorney, Jack Morris, told The Montana Standard the sentence is fair given the culpability of each teen. It is likely they will appeal to district court, Morris said.

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