Fishing boat captain sentenced for shooting at sea lions


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Posted by jlyle on March 04, 2005 at 18:50:20:

From the Daily Breeze:

"Fishing boat captain gets 60-day sentence Harbor City charter fishing boat captain had pleaded guilty to shooting sea lions off Catalina Island last fall.

By Alison Shackelford
Copley News Service

A Harbor City charter fishing boat captain who pleaded guilty to shooting sea lions off Catalina Island last fall was sentenced on Thursday to two months in prison.

John Gary Woodrum also must pay a $5,000 fine and serve 250 hours of community service at the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, which cares for sick and injured marine mammals.

Although Woodrum pleaded guilty in November in exchange for a 60-day sentence, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter was not bound by the agreement and added the fine and community service.

Woodrum's lawyer, Carmen Trutanich, said he was disappointed that Walter went beyond the terms of the agreement, but pleased that the judge didn't punish his client even further. The two misdemeanor charges of attempting to kill a marine mammal could have resulted in as much as two years in prison and $200,000 in fines.

"The judge wanted to make sure that the message rang clear to Mr. Woodrum," Trutanich said. "Mr. Woodrum is very contrite and I think that he is grateful that the court showed some compassion ... by agreeing for the most part to follow the plea agreement."

Walter also warned Woodrum that he would be on probation for one year, and that any violations could lead to increased jail time.

Two undercover agents with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Office for Law Enforcement investigated Woodrum in November after receiving complaints from passengers on his boat.

The agents confirmed that Woodrum was shooting at sea lions during a fishing cruise he captained for San Pedro-based 22nd Street Sportfishing."





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