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Musher pleads not guilty to killing moose in park

Posted: Sunday, May 11, 2008

FAIRBANKS - Former Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Jeff King formally pleaded not guilty to killing a moose within Denali National Park. He has asked for a jury trial.

Bethel attorney Myron Angstman on Friday entered King's plea by telephone in U.S. District Court in Fairbanks. King, attending his daughter's college graduation in Minnesota, also participated by telephone, as did federal prosecutor Aunnie Steward of Anchorage.

King, 51, has won the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race four times.

He is accused of illegally shooting a moose inside Denali National Park and Preserve and driving an all-terrain vehicle in an area not designated for motor vehicles.

According to park rangers, King shot a young bull moose on Sept. 6 north of Healy about three-quarters of a mile inside the northeast boundary of the park. He used a four-wheeler to transport bones a short distance from the kill site, according to rangers.

Both charges are misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine, Steward said.

Most of the 25-minute arraignment was spent trying to figure out a trial date. Angstman agreed to a tentative date of July 2 but said he will petition for a change because he is scheduled for another trial.



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