2 Colorado Men Charged With Killing at Least 34 Elk
The Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) has completed a six-week investigation into the shooting of at least 34 elk on two Moffat County ranches. The following charges were filed in Moffat County District Court on Tuesday, April 1, 2008:
Rodney Heath Culverwell
18 counts willful destruction of wildlife (class 5 felony)
18 counts illegal possession of wildlife (misdemeanor)
16 counts willful destruction of wildlife (class 5 felony)
16 counts illegal possession of wildlife (misdemeanor)
The charges are related to the following Colorado statutes:
CRS 33-6-117(1)(a) Willful destruction of wildlife/big game .. it is unlawful for a person to hunt or take, or to solicit another person to hunt or take, wildlife and detach or remove, with the intent to abandon the carcass or body, only the head, hide, claws, teeth, antlers, horns, internal organs, or feathers or any or all of such parts; to abandon the carcass or body of such wildlife; or to take and abandon wildlife.
As a class 5 felony, willful destruction convictions carry a sentence of one to two years in prison and a fine of $1,000 - $100,000 per count. Conviction also carries an assessment of 20 license suspension points per count.
CRS 33-6-109 Illegal possession of wildlife It is unlawful for any person to hunt, take, or have in such person's possession any wildlife that is the property of this state as provided in section 33-1-101, except as permitted by articles 1 to 6 of this title or by rule or regulation of the [wildlife] commission.
If found guilty, penalties for violations of CRS 33-6-109 call for a fine of $1,000 per count and an assessment of 15 license suspension points per count.
An individual who accumulates more than 20 licenses suspension points or who is convicted of a felony wildlife violation is subject to an administrative hearing process that can result in suspension of hunting and fishing privileges in Colorado and 24 other states for a period of one year to life.
Questions regarding the criminal cases are being referred to the Office of District Attorney in the 14th Judicial District in Craig (970) 824-7041.