Indictments in Bear Incident

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Since November 2001, an intensive investigation has been conducted by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries concerning the killing of a black bear by Mr. Shannon Simmons of Bedford County. The investigation included numerous witness interviews, along with forensic testing and evaluation of evidence. The results of this investigation were then turned over to the Bedford County Commonwealth Attorney's Office. Upon review of the evidence by that office, three indictments were presented to the March 2002 Bedford County Grand Jury. The Grand Jury returned three true bills against Shannon Simmons. The charges are the taking of a black bear during closed season (Class 2 misdemeanor), the illegal killing of a black bear (Class 1 misdemeanor), and making a false report to a law enforcement official (Class 1 misdemeanor). Mr. Simmons will stand trial at a later date in the Bedford County Circuit Court.

Anyone with any further information concerning the incident, which took place on November 7, 2001, in the Moneta area of Bedford County, may contact the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries at 434-525-7522.

Background Information

  • Penalties for Class I misdemeanor are confinement in jail not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.
  • Penalties for Class II misdemeanor are confinement in jail for not more than 6 months and a fine of not more than $1,000, either or both.
  • Bedford County Commonwealth Attorney's Office telephone number is 540-586-7628.