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TN: Deer Poacher Jailed For Illegal Hunting

Deer Poacher Jailed For Illegal Hunting At Enterprise South Judge Cites Dangers Of Firing High-Powered Weapon Near VW Plant

December 8, 2010

A Dalton, Ga., man, Richard Kevin Arnold, of 1402 Vann Place, was given maximum sentences on Wednesday in the Hamilton County General Sessions Court for hunting without a license, without fluorescent orange, in a closed season and for refusing inspection. He was arrested at the new nature park next to the Volkswagen plant at the Enterprise South Industrial Park.

According to arrest warrants filed by TWRA officer Christy Twilla, "On Saturday, the 6th of November, Arnold, was observed hunting on the Volunteer Army Ammunition Plant, (Enterprise South), WMA (Wildlife Management Area), hunting without a valid license and was not wearing required hunter orange. Subject fled when ordered to stop. Subject was hunting with a rifle (.270 caliber) during a muzzeloader only season."

During testimony, the TWRA officer said Arnold and another hunter who escaped had discharged a high-powered rifle two or three times at a deer and within 75 yards of a fence that surrounds the VW plant. The officer further testified that the defendant was apprehended shortly before dark.

Before sentencing, Judge Bob Moon told Arnold, "You have violated about every wildlife law possible pertaining to deer hunting. You have recklessly discharged a high-powered rifle capable of injuring or killing someone within a half-mile radius.

"Enterprise South is much more than a wildlife managed area, it is now the hub of economic recovery and a large part of the future of this county. Reckless conduct such as yours is a deterrent to further development of this property by potential entrepreneurs and major corporations."

Judge Moon sentenced Arnold to the maximum of six months and a $250 fine for hunting in a closed season. He further ordered the maximum fine of $50 plus court costs and 30 days in jail on all of the other charges.

Arnold's rifle was forfeited to the state, and the defendant's hunting privileges were revoked for a period of two years.

Arnold testified that he had been charged previously with disorderly conduct and assault. However, the judge said since Arnold was gainfully employed and had a family, that he would reduce the defendant's active jail time to 10 days. Arnold was taken into custody immediately to begin serving his sentence.

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