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Man pleads guilty in bear killing

May 10, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

A Blue Ridge Summit man pleaded guilty this week to illegally killing a black bear in his back yard after changing his story that he fired in self-defense because he thought the animal was going to attack him, court records stated.

Terry Ray Green Sr., 40, of 14619 Charmian Road was fined $1,651.50. Green will pay the fine at $50 a month over the next 33 months, according to court records in District Justice Larry Pentz's office.

Included in the total is an $800 fine plus $800 in restitution for the value of the bear, court records said.

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The incident occurred April 6.

According to State Game Commission officials, Green changed his original claim of self-defense to a guilty plea.

In a sworn statement to District Wildlife Conservation Officer Kevin Mountz, who investigated the incident, Green initially claimed the bear was in his backyard. Green told Mountz that after he fired a warning shot the bear charged him and his only recourse was to shoot the bear.

A forensic analysis of the bear carcass showed Green's statement to be inaccurate, court records said, and Green was offered a chance to change his story but refused.

He was charged with killing a bear out of season and making a false statement to an officer, court records said.

Mountz said in a press release issued Friday that an investigation determined Green and the bear were on a relative same plane and the lethal shot was fired from the area of the back door of Green's home, "meaning that safety was readily available if a charge had occurred."

When presented with the evidence, Green retracted his statement, Mountz said.

In addition to the fine, Green faces the loss of his hunting and trapping privileges, according court records.

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