Four hunting guides accused of illegally roping a cougar and dragging it to where a client could shoot it have been convicted of third-degree felony charges of wanton destruction of wildlife.
The verdict was returned by an eight-member jury late Wednesday after about two hours of deliberation.Chris Robb, 30, Shawn McLeroy, 24, Brandon Robb, 24 and Shawn Robb, 28, of Red Creek Outfitters in Paragonah, were accused of carrying out a "canned" cougar kill for their client, William Mehl of Pennsylvania, on Feb. 4, 1993. He paid them $3,000 for the hunt, court documents showed.
The Division of Wildlife Resources investigated the killing after a tip. There were no in-de-pen-dent witnesses to the hunt, and the evidence largely was what officers found at the site.
Officers contended the guides cornered the cougar with dogs in a Boulder Mountain area that was closed to hunting and then used a rope to drag the cougar to the Monroe Peak hunting unit where their client was waiting.