Turner man pleads guilty to a dozen hunting crimes

Amber Waterman/Sun Journal

Everett T. Leonard pleads guilty in Androscoggin County Superior Court on Tuesday to numerous charges, including hunting under revocation and night hunting.

AUBURN —Everett T. Leonard of Turner pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to a dozen charges, including many misdemeanor hunting violations and a felony drug charge.

Leonard, 33, along with his father, Everett H. Leonard, also of Turner, was indicted in May 2011 on a total of 35 charges of illegal hunting, drug trafficking, criminal trespass and indecent conduct.

He pleaded not guilty later that month, but changed his plea Tuesday in Androscoggin County Superior Court as part of a plea deal with the District Attorney’s Office.

The charges, which followed a four-month investigation by the Maine Warden Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Pennsylvania Game Commission, were in connection with crimes that occurred between September and November of 2010. An undercover investigator observed many of the violations that resulted in charges. In Maine, the violations occurred in Turner and Leeds.

Leonard has no prior criminal history and has been free on $5,000 unsecured bond since his indictment.

His sentencing will be held at a later date.

Leonard pleaded guilty Tuesday to five counts of hunting under revocation, four counts of night hunting, molesting wildlife, driving deer and unlawful possession of the narcotic drug oxycodone.

The final charge is a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine. Convicted felons are prohibited from having guns.

More than a dozen other charges were dismissed by prosecutors.

Prosecutors and Leonard's defense attorney will each have a chance to argue for the sentences they favor, but the judge is not restricted by any sentencing agreement or cap.

The elder Leonard was sentenced in this case and was given no jail time. The former Mechanic Falls police chief agreed in September to a deal that required him to spend three months behind bars. But a judge suspended the sentence because of the 61-year-old Leonard’s health problems. In the past year, he has undergone prostate surgery, was diagnosed with diabetes and suffered a stroke.

The elder Leonard had faced up to 42 years in jail and $84,000 in fines for illegal hunting activities in 2010. He also was charged with selling oxycodone.

When Leonard and his son were arrested in January 2011, police seized hundreds of pounds of deer meat, guns and hunting-related equipment from their homes.

"This has been a significant event," Androscoggin County Superior Court Justice MaryGay Kennedy said Tuesday.

cwilliams@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Catherine Pressey's picture

Not going to let this go:

This just fits into the article about the Christmas Scene being destroyed by what they call 22 year olds. If the parents do not raise them well and do not guide them right this is what we get, And Lenny taught his son to do just what daddy got away with, and trained him to do. No bars no laws and not respect of the Bambi’s and the law abiding hunters that have honesty and integrity. And would never encourage this behavior from their adult son’s. So we have all heard the saying the apple does not fall far from the tree, and in this case, the Lenny’s of the world do the rest of us such disservice, his son looks just like any other young man, that could live next door and be a nice citizen and honest feller. Sad that his tree he fell from was Lenny former police Chief, he may not have made those wrong choices. SAD INDEED. And what made this worse is a 17 year old was caught up in this mess. And led astray by the great Everett Lenard Sr. FALLEN POLICE CHIEF, that some day will be judged by our God. The younger Leonard can still put his life into a better place, learn from the deeds of the past. I wish him well, and understand it was the tree that encouraged the same. I 'm still sad that the court made exceptions do to the Ex Police Chiefs health. When he stands in front of his God, when ever that may be, he will not be able to lie maneuver out of the truth. Or what ever God decides. That is my opinion.

Wanda Chadbourne's picture

Definition

To "molest" wildlife is: chasing,molesting(To disturb, interfere with, or annoy),harassing,driving or herding wildlife (means an organized or planned effort to pursue,chase,or otherwise frighten or cause an animal to move in the direction of a person or persons who are part of this organized or planned hunt & known to be waiting for this animal),unless allowed during the open season on that species.

Sadly it isn't only humans that do this,domestic dogs that are allowed to run loose do this also!!They do not kill and eat this animal ,they just maim it.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

...."molesting

...."molesting wildlife?".......

Diana Currier's picture

tears

remember the tears

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