MT: Darby suspect faces charges of poaching, intimidating teenaged witness
Darby suspect faces charges of poaching, intimidating teenaged witness
December 27, 2010
HAMILTON - A 58-year-old Darby man faces poaching and intimidation
charges for allegedly killing a trophy mule deer and then yelling at a high
school student for reporting him.
James E. Robinson appeared Monday before Ravalli County Justice James
Bailey on felony counts of unlawful possession of a game animal and
intimidation. He also faces misdemeanor charges of hunting a game animal
without a license and transferring a general deer license.
Robinson allegedly killed the buck deer in Hunting District 270 on Oct.
Deer hunters are required to have a special license in that hunting
district. In 2009, more than 5,000 people applied for the 45 permits issued
by the state for that area.
Robinson told a high school volunteer at a state game checkpoint that the
buck deer his hunting party possessed had been harvested in an adjoining
district, charging documents said.
The high school girl working the station became suspicious because she
knew it was impossible to get to the Big Hole from Rye Creek Road.
Robinson apparently replied that he was told by a high school girl at the
check station a day earlier that it was possible and had been given
directions on how to get there.
The only underage girl working at the check station the day before was
the same volunteer who challenged him.
FWP Warden Lou Royce was dispatched to the home of Debbie Muller, a
member of Robinson's hunting party.
Court records said Muller initially told Royce she killed the buck, but
later indicated that Robinson had done the shooting.
A few days later, "a very angry" Robinson allegedly accosted the high
school girl in an attempt to get her to change her story.
The mule deer's antlers measured 167 5/8 points on the Boone and Crockett
scale. Antlers measuring 160 are considered in the trophy class.
Court records said Robinson has been convicted of wildlife crimes in
Washington and Oregon, as well as felony convictions for "minor/immoral
purposes" and manufacture, distribution, possession of dangerous drugs in
Bailey set bail at $5,000.
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