MN: Royalton man's conviction stands in trapping case
August 19, 2014
A 36-year-old Royalton man who was sentenced in
December of 2013 with a petty misdemeanor of aiding and assisting in
setting a wildlife trap without identification in Morrison County
lost his appeal in court Monday.
Royce Ryan Teague argued
that such a charge is not permissible under state law, in that he
should have received a jury trial and that the district court erred
by amending the original charge to include aiding and assisting.
Teague argued that a petty misdemeanor is not a crime.
Teague was given a citation for setting or placing a trap without
proper identification, a petty misdemeanor.
Joyce Kuske, a
local game warden, testified that she received a tip about a man
traveling in a camouflage vehicle checking roadside traps that did
not appear to have the proper identification. She followed up on the
call and found two traps without identification in the described
Teague's Facebook page featured a picture of him
with one of the traps in the same location. The photo showed a
raccoon in the trap with the caption: "Caught and released this
morning ... can't eat everything. Lots of laughs. Just wait till
trapping season, though, other than skunk."
Kuske spoke with
Teague on the phone and told him that she had his traps. He denied
that he was missing any traps but agreed to meet with her at a gas
station. Kuske testified that when she asked Teague why he would not
admit that they were his traps, he replied, "I can't admit that
these are my traps because I will get revoked if I do."
Teague's girlfriend was also cited for the trapping incident and she
paid the fine. Teague was sentenced in 2013 in Crow Wing District
Court for taking a furbearer by an illegal method, a misdemeanor.
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