Two men accused of killing bear in the Book Cliffs pleaded guilty this week to one count each of illegally taking and possessing protected wildlife.
Douglas R. Morck, a former Moab police sergeant, and Arthur J. Hobbs, formerly a probation and parole officer in Moab, both appeared and entered guilty pleas on the Class A misdemeanor charges at a hearing Tuesday in 7th Circuit Court, said court clerk Sue Batchelder.A second charge against each defendant was dismissed, and both men were sentenced.
"Basically, they agreed to what we proposed," said prosecutor Creigh-ton C. Horton, assistant to the Utah attorney general.
Morck and Hobbs had been arrested and cited last May by officers of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on two counts each of killing black bear without a proper state permit.
Both have since moved from Moab.
Horton said defense attorney Loni F. DeLand agreed to have his clients each enter guilty pleas on one of the two counts after Circuit Court Judge Bruce Halliday denied a defense motion to suppress evidence seized when the men were arrested in the Book Cliffs.
Halliday ruled last December that wildlife officers had properly conducted a search and seizure of Morck's pickup truck the night of the arrests May 25, 1990.
According to testimony at a hearing on the motion last fall, two bear hides were discovered in the truck bed during the search, which the defense argued was illegal because officers did not have a warrant.
Horton said the guilty pleas were entered on the condition the defendants can still appeal the search and seizure. They have 30 days to do so.