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Mountain Lion

This undated photo released by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department shows a mountain lion surveying the surrounding landscape. A federal judge on Friday sentenced a man to probation for shooting and killing a mountain lion in Yellowstone National Park this winter.

A federal judge on Friday sentenced a man to probation for shooting and killing a mountain lion in Yellowstone National Park this winter.

Austin Peterson, 20, of Livingston, Montana, will have to pay nearly $1,700 in restitution and fees. During his three years unsupervised probation, he is banned from hunting, fishing or trapping.

Peterson is the third of three men to be sentenced in the case. A judge in April sentenced Trey Juhnke, 20, and Corbin Simmons, 19, both of Livingston, to unsupervised probation in April. Both men were also ordered to pay $1,667 in restitution.

Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Simmons had completed the monetary part of his sentence.

According to court records, the three men pleaded guilty earlier this year in federal court to violating the Lacey Act, which prohibits hunting in Yellowstone National Park.

They admitted to shooting a male mountain lion and taking the carcass to a vehicle. Simmons initially told authorities he harvested the animal in Montana, north of the park boundary, according to a statement provided by park authorities.

A statement issued by park authorities said that by killing the animal, the three men took away a legal hunter’s opportunity to harvest a mountain lion.

In the statement, Yellowstone National Park Chief Ranger Pete Webster thanked law enforcement and prosecutors for their work on the case.

“Their thorough work spotlighted this egregious act and the consequences incurred for hunting illegally in Yellowstone National Park,” Webster said.

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Crime and Courts Reporter

Shane Sanderson is a Star-Tribune reporter who primarily covers criminal justice. Sanderson is a proud University of Missouri graduate. Lately, he’s been reading Cormac McCarthy and cooking Italian food. He writes about his own life in his free time.

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