CSI Not Just for Human Cases

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Wyoming Game and Fish Department needed to go a bit further with charging three people; Shenae Blakemore, 29, Cody Gilligan, 23, and Colton Lapp, 19, with poaching a trophy class mule deer. Game wardens had found the trophy buck in a shed in Worland. They had been investigating something else when they came upon the buck. When asked about the buck, Lapp told them that the buck had been shot by Blakemore in an open area near the Black Hills by Sundance.

Matt Lentsch, Worland area game warden for Game and Fish, didn't quite believe that story. He decided further investigation needed to be done. After looking at the stomach contents of the buck and other details Lentsch came to the conclusion that the buck had been shot along the Greybull River. “The pieces of narrow-leaf cottonwood leaves were the key to the whole case,” Lentsch said. “Narrow-leaf cottonwoods typically grow in gravelly soils like those found along the Greybull River, unlike the Plains cottonwoods found along the Bighorn River.”

Text messages between the trio did confirm that Blakemore shot the buck. She was the primary defendant in the case, and has been given two years probation, no hunting for two years, and ordered to pay $3,000 for restitution. Lapp and Gilligan have been charged as accessories in the crime, each was ordered to pay $5,040, one year probation, one year suspended jail time, and lost hunting privileges for two years. All three were charged under Wyoming's winter range law, which allows harsher penalties for those who illegally take big game. From Trib.com.