Court sides with farmer over game law element

Written by The Associated Press | Mar 25, 2014 1:58 PM

(Harrisburg) --  A rural Pennsylvania farmer charged with not honestly answering a game warden's question about the killing of a deer is getting his conviction thrown out after he argued the requirement violated his right against self-incrimination.


A three-judge Commonwealth Court panel on Friday vacated Jack Coble's summary offense conviction, a charge lodged against him as a wildlife conservation officer investigated possible poaching in rural Perry County two years ago.

The Game Commission says it's only charged someone with that violation four times in the past 12 years.

An agency spokesman notes that it's listed under a subchapter of the Game and Wildlife Code that addresses the killing of deer because of crop damage on farms, so it doesn't have wider application.

Coble spent thousands of dollars appealing the $150 fine.

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