A former Moab man has been placed on 50 months probation and fined $2,500 for vandalizing an archaeological site in southeastern Utah in February.
Kenneth Walter Kirby received the penalty from U.S. District Judge David K. Winder after being found guilty in August of a misdemeanor violation of the federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act.The jury that convicted Kirby, now a traveling seismological researcher for a firm in Colorado, rejected a charge of depredation of government property and a felony violation of the Resource Protection Act.
On Feb. 8, a state wildlife conservation officer noticed Kirby in a shelter cave in a side canyon near the Colorado River, close to Potash Road outside Moab. He was digging in the cave, and an investigation found footprints matching his in another nearby cave where illegal digging had also taken place.
Defense attorney Jerold McPhee had argued his client should receive probation and a reasonable amount of restitution because he had been detained in the Salt Lake County Jail for two weeks after his arrest and in a halfway house of 12 days.