Morgan County Elk Poachers Sentenced In Guilty Pleas

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Poached Elk
Poached Elk

According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, five local individuals have received sentencing after reaching a plea agreement in connection with the poaching death of an elk in Morgan County General Sessions Court.

Kenneth T. Kelly, Oliver Springs, Austin C. Woodall, Oliver Springs, Steven H. Daugherty, Petros, Samantha Leann McColl, Oliver Springs, and Donovan Cade Godwin, Coalfield, pled guilty to charges placed after an investigation by Morgan County wildlife officer, Travis Buchanan. The investigation shows the large bull elk was shot by a .44 magnum rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun on Dec. 21, 2012, in the Prudential Hollow area located between Coalfield and Oliver Springs and that all five charged were involved in a conspiracy to hide the violation after the fact.

Wildlife officials were notified about the location of the dead elk carcass by a concerned community member on Dec. 23, 2012, where it was recovered.  Following the investigation, charges placed against the poaching party members included: hunting and killing an elk during a closed season, violation of centerfire weapon law, illegal possession of a wild elk, illegal transportation of a wild elk, and criminal conspiracy.  

As a result of the plea agreements of the five guilty parties, almost $28,000 in fines, court costs and restitution were issued, 18 years total of hunting privileges were suspended from the group and they received 14 years of suspended jail time and court supervised probation.  Two firearms were declared contraband by the court.  This case also set a state court precedent for restitution to the State of Tennessee for illegal taking of an elk at $5,000. 

Elk Antlers
Elk Antlers

Claire Henley: Adventures West (The Honeyspooners)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon). “They would not find me changed from him they knew—Only more sure of all I thought was true.” -Robert Frost, “Into my Own” Once Big Spoon and I got married, we became ... (click for more)

Battle Of Ringgold Reenactment Will Be Held Oct. 9-11

The Battle of Ringgold Gap Civil War Reenactment will take place Oct. 9, 10 and 11.  The event will close Robin Road between Alabama Highway 151 and Lafayette Street to accommodate the soldiers' camps and parking for the event. Reenactors will begin camping and setting up on Friday, Oct. 9 and open their camps to visitors at 1 p.m.  The reenactment will take place ... (click for more)

Toddler Killed In Car Accident On Boy Scout Road Friday Morning

A toddler was killed in an auto accident Friday morning.  Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an accident with injuries at the 1000 block of Boy Scout Road at approximately 11 a.m. on Friday. Upon arrival, deputies found a single car accident involving four passengers. Three of the four passengers were transported to a local hospital and the ... (click for more)

Triple Murder Suspect, Top 10 Most Wanted Fugitive, Captured In New Orleans

Less than a day after being placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Top 10 Most Wanted list, Daniel Lee Henry was captured Saturday night in New Orleans, La.  Shortly after 8:30 CST, Henry, 38, was taken into custody without incident at a hotel by authorities from the United States Marshals Service Task Force, which includes law enforcement officers from the New ... (click for more)

We Can Do Something About Mass Shootings - And Response (2)

A friend posted his observation this morning that there was paranoia about reasonable gun laws. I know his heart is saying we have to do something about these mass shootings. Then while scanning the morning news shows I watched a pile o’ pundits from Al Sharpton to Donald Trump pontificate on doing “something” about the problem. Personally, I think there are plenty of gun control ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How We Learned To Play

A couple of years ago I was reading a fascinating story that asserted the “Little Rascals” taught generations of children how to play with each other. When the comedy show about children in a poor neighborhood originated in 1922, there were just silent movies but in 1929, when the “talkies” were introduced, children and adults alike were mesmerized by the wonderful humor that producer ... (click for more)