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Guilty plea expected today in Myers hunting violations

Posted: Monday, November 01, 2010

The lawyer for a Juneau man accused of multiple hunting violations entered a sentencing memorandum with the Juneau District Court last week which suggests his client will plead guilty at an 11:45 a.m. hearing today.

Park Myers is expected to plead guilty before District Court Judge Keith Levy to negligently shooting a wolf Sept. 22, 2009, at the 35-mile mark out the road with a rim fire cartridge and giving the wolf to a non-resident friend to seal; negligently setting a black bear bait site without first obtaining a lawful permit May 14, 2010; and failing to validate his 2010 black bear harvest tag after the kill.

In the memorandum, Myers' attorney David Mallet states, "No Juneau case in recent history has generated such a firestorm of public opinion. Many people within and well beyond Juneau adopted a wolf named Romeo. They proclaim that Mr. Myers should be punished severely for having shot and killed a wolf they believe was their beloved Romeo."

Information in the memorandum states Romeo was a 140-pound black-colored wolf that habituated the Mendenhall Glacier and that Myers shot a 70-pound wolf 25 miles from there. It also states Myers' wolf was not identified and that Myers' conduct was negligent shooting of a wolf with a rim fire rifle and not claiming that wolf himself, and setting a black bear bait station in a wrong area without permit, and not validating a harvest tag.

"They are each minor game violations," the memo states. "The acts are not instances of a hunter illegally hunting a protected species, creating a wanton waste of game, hunting over the limit, intentionally taking in a closed area where game supplies are protected, or a non-resident illegally taking and transporting game in a conscious attempt to evade expensive licensing costs. This is also not a situation involving illegal guiding activities for profit."

The memorandum also says the acts fall into a low sentencing category that should result in a modest fine without any suspended or actual jail time and that Myers has no criminal history.

"The court cannot lend an ear to mob mentality, no matter how well guided that group of people is in the hearts and minds of some or many," according to the document. "Mr. Myers is a first offender who committed low-level offenses on two occasions... to sentence him more harshly than in comparable cases cuts against the most important consideration in a civilized society: We must not yield to what members of the public wish upon whim or passionate belief, even if that belief is reasonable and well-intentioned.. we are a society of legal principles in which punishment must be based on law and its relevant factors, not the vicissitudes of even a well meaning public."

Also in Levy's courtroom last week, the change of plea hearing for Jeffrey Peacock was rescheduled again due to the defendant's health. Peacock is facing multiple hunting violations connected to Myers. It is now scheduled for Jan. 27, 2011.

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.



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