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Raccoon hunter cleared of conviction for fetching wayward dog

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A raccoon hunter’s misdemeanor conviction was reversed Tuesday when appellate judges determined he wasn’t hunting or chasing wildlife when he retrieved his wandering dog from property where he didn’t have permission to hunt.

Jeremy Schath was convicted of Class C misdemeanor chasing wildlife on private property without the consent of the owner after the state amended an initial charge of hunting without permission during a bench trial before Decatur Superior Judge Matthew D. Bailey. The case is Jeremy Schath v. State of Indiana, 16A05-1308-CR-433.

Schath was raccoon hunting in November 2012 with the permission of the property owner when his dog wandered onto private property where Schath didn’t have permission to hunt. He put his gun down and retrieved the dog, which had cornered a raccoon in a drainage pipe.

“While we do not reweigh the credibility of witnesses or the evidence on appeal, we note that in the instant matter, no such ‘reweighing’ is necessary because all of the evidence in the record indicates that Schath entered the Coffee Tree Farms Property for the sole purpose of retrieving his dog, not for the purpose of chasing a raccoon,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote for the panel.

“As such, we conclude that the evidence presented before the trial court was insufficient to sustain Schath’s conviction for Class C misdemeanor chasing wildlife on private property without the consent of the landowner. Accordingly, we reverse Schath’s conviction.”

 
 

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  1. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  2. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

  3. This outbreak illustrates the absurdity of the extreme positions taken by today's liberalism, specifically individualism and the modern cult of endless personal "freedom." Ebola reminds us that at some point the person's own "freedom" to do this and that comes into contact with the needs of the common good and "freedom" must be curtailed. This is not rocket science, except, today there is nonstop propaganda elevating individual preferences over the common good, so some pundits have a hard time fathoming the obvious necessity of quarantine in some situations....or even NATIONAL BORDERS...propagandists have also amazingly used this as another chance to accuse Western nations of "racism" which is preposterous and offensive. So one the one hand the idolatry of individualism has to stop and on the other hand facts people don't like that intersect with race-- remain facts nonetheless. People who respond to facts over propaganda do better in the long run. We call it Truth. Sometimes it seems hard to find.

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