1 Of 3 Charged In Poaching Ring Pleads Guilty

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) – One of three people accused of using in a northern Michigan poaching ring has pleaded guilty to eight misdemeanors.

Seventeen-year-old Zachary Mark Johnson of Traverse City told the judge Tuesday he didn’t shoot the animals, but acknowledged riding in the pickup as they were shined and killed.

Seventeen-year-old David Garrick Walston of Traverse City and 21-year-old Daniel Lynn Kelsey of Lake Ann also face poaching-related misdemeanors.

Authorities say a black bear and at least seven deer were shot and mutilated in Grand Traverse, Benzie and Leelanau counties. They say the bear was beheaded and its paws were cut off with an axe. Police say Walston shot the bear.

Johnson’s attorney, William Conklin, tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle Johnson is “a young man who caved in to peer pressure.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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