An Idaho man faces federal criminal felony charges for shooting and killing a grizzly bear that wandered onto his property, despite that fact that local officials are backing up his claim of self defense.
According to a report from CDAPress.com, Jeremy Hill admits killing the bear on his property in May. However he feared for the safety of himself and his family as the reason for the shooting.
The U.S. attorney announced charges last month against Hill for killing an animal that is classified as a threatened species.
But on Monday the Boundary County Commission issued a report backing Hill's story.
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“In this case, a grizzly sow and two cubs were on Hill’s property more than five miles outside any recovery zone,” said Commission chairman Ron Smith. “Jeremy and his wife have three young children, and the bears posed a threat to his family. It is the unanimous conviction of this board that Jeremy Hill had not only the right but the obligation to protect his children and his family.”
The Commission noted that the Idaho Department of Fish and Game as well as local officers with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service did not recommend that charges be brought. However officials in Washington ignored them and ordered that Hill be charged.
The charges carry a year in prison and a $50,000 fine.