February 24, 2011

Jayne enters guilty plea in poaching case

SANDPOINT — An Idaho State Police trooper charged with harvesting a bull moose out of season pleaded guilty on Wednesday during a hearing in Moscow.

Magistrate John Charles Judge sentenced Cpl. Jeff Jayne to six months of unsupervised probation, imposed a $500 penalty and revoked the trooper’s hunting privileges for one year, according to Latah County Prosecutor Bill Thompson, who sat in on the proceedings.

Judge’s sentence mostly conforms with the terms of a plea agreement that was negotiated when Jayne was charged with unlawfully hunting wildlife at the misdemeanor level.

The only variance to the sentence concerned Jayne’s hunting privileges, said Thompson.

Latah County Deputy Prosecutor Michael Cavanagh recommended a two-year suspension, while Jayne’s defense counsel, James Siebe, lobbied for no suspension.

“That was really the biggest issue of contention,” said Thompson.

Judge imposed a one-year suspension in order to be consistent and to reinforce the message that even unintentional hunting violations can bring consequences, said Thompson.

The moose’s cape, antlers and meat were forfeited to the state. Jayne had already paid to have 398 pounds of meat processed by the time the investigation began. Thompson said the meat will be distributed to needy families in the Panhandle.

Jayne, 42, shot the moose with a bow north of Ponderay on Sept. 11, 2010. He immediately reported the harvest to the Idaho Department of Fish & Game, which advised Jayne he shot the animal four days before the season opened.

An anonymous caller, meanwhile, directed a Fish & Game investigator to a Kootenai County taxidermy business where the cape and antlers were being processed.

Jayne admitted his mistake and cooperated with the investigation, according to documents released by the Latah County Prosecutor’s Office.

Senior Conservation Officer Matt Haag indicated in his report that Jayne’s actions after killing the moose were indicative of a lack of intent to be deceptive and supported his contention that he had simply confused the season’s opening date.

Jayne was granted a withheld judgment, which means he can petition a judge to set aside the conviction upon completion of his court-ordered responsibilities. The offense, however, will remain on Jayne’s record, Thompson said.

The case was handled in the 2nd Judicial District to avoid appearances of a conflict of interest. Jayne’s patrol beat covers the 1st Judicial District.

Thompson’s office was appointed to prosecute the matter for similar reasons.


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