Esquire writer draws sentence of hours in mountain lion case

Esquire writer draws sentence of hours in mountain lion case < ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

< ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />arizona daily star

Tucson, Arizona Published: 06.16.2006

A journalist who interfered with a 2004 mountain lion hunt in Sabino Canyon was sentenced last week to less than one day in jail.

John H. Richardson, a writer-at-large for Esquire magazine, pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with a forest officer. He was sentenced June 5, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Richardson, 51, was arrested in March 2004 with two animal activists associated with Earth First. At that time, Sabino Canyon was closed while authorities tried to capture several mountain lions.

The activists, Rodney Coronado, 39, and Matt Crozier, 33, were each convicted of one felony and two misdemeanors in December. They are to be sentenced next month.

Richardson‘s recordings of interviews with Coronado and Crozier were used by the prosecution in their trial.

The tapes showed the pair wanted to sabotage efforts by wildlife officials to remove the lions from the canyon.

In the interviews, the pair described creating false trails for tracking dogs and trying to find and disarm traps set by authorities for the lions.

Richardson had already been convicted in state court for criminal nuisance stemming from the same incident.

His time in jail served as punishment for both convictions, the release said.

The conviction of Richardson shows that no individual is above the law, U.S. Attorney Paul K. Charlton said in the release.

“No one’s political views nor their profession grants them immunity from prosecution,” he said.


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