PAULDING — A rural Defiance man was placed on community control here Monday in Paulding County Common Pleas Court on three felony charges and numerous misdemeanors related to wildlife violations.
James Coyne, 22, 19843 Ohio 111, was placed on community control by Judge Tiffany Beckman for four years with conditions, including that he serve 60 days in Paulding County Jail with work release. He was given credit for five days served in jail while his case was pending.
Coyne also was ordered to make $4,320 restitution to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources while animal parts and three firearms seized in the investigation were ordered forfeited.
A 24-month state prison term was reserved for Coyne, who is prohibited from hunting during his community control time, if he violates community control terms.
The 60-day jail term exceeded the 30-day sentence that was recommended by Paulding County Prosecutor Joe Burkard. While imposing the more substantial sentence, Beckman made mention of Coyne’s “blatant disregard” of the state’s wildlife laws.
Coyne had pleaded guilty to the charges on March 22.
He offered no statement Monday while his attorney — Peter Seibel of Defiance — told Beckman that his client did not deny his crimes and hunted to help feed his family. He noted that the charges against him did not constitute a crime of violence nor had anything to do with drug abuse, so a prison sentence was not appropriate.
Coyne was convicted of the following charges:
• tampering with records, a third-degree felony. On Oct. 20, he altered a record kept, or belonging to, “a local, state or federal government” with the purpose to “defraud.”
• improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony. He discharged a firearm from a motor vehicle on Dec. 25.
• telecommunications fraud, a fifth-degree felony. He used a communications device to commit “a scheme to defraud.”
• theft, a first-degree misdemeanor. He stole a trail camera from another person on Dec. 8.
• failure to validate deer permit, a third-degree misdemeanor. After killing a deer on Sept. 29, he failed to “complete a deer permit ... prior to moving the carcass.”
• failure to check-in a deer, a third-degree misdemeanor. He failed to “affix a game check confirmation number” to a deer on Sept. 29.
• two counts of taking a deer with a rifle during archery season, each a third-degree misdemeanor. The violations occurred on Oct. 20 and Dec. 25.
• aiding a wildlife offender, a third-degree misdemeanor. On Oct. 4, he harbored another person who took a deer without a valid deer permit.
• providing false information while game checking a deer, a third-degree misdemeanor. The offense occurred on Oct. 20.
• prohibiting jacklighting, a third-degree misdemeanor. The charge alleged that on Dec. 25 he “cast the rays of a spotlight or other artificial light” from a vehicle while possessing a “hunting device” or “locating a wild animal.”
• taking a deer from the roadway, a third-degree misdemeanor. He tried to shoot, or take, wildlife from across a public road on Dec. 25.
• taking a deer with the aid and use of a motor vehicle, a third-degree misdemeanor. The violation occurred on Dec. 25.
• taking a deer after hours, a third-degree misdemeanor. He hunted or took a deer one-half hour before sunrise or one-half hour after sunset on Dec. 25.
• failure to check-in an antlered deer, a third-degree misdemeanor. The offense occurred on Dec. 25.
• taking more than one antlered deer per license year, a third-degree misdemeanor. The violation occurred on Dec. 25.
• untagged deer and/or parts, a third-degree misdemeanor. He possessed four whitetail deer racks on July 5.
• possession of geese in the closed season, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The offense occurred on Oct. 15.
• possession of a box turtle shell, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The violation occurred on July 5.
• three counts of possession of raccoon in the closed season, each a fourth-degree misdemeanor. He possessed raccoon on Sept. 1, Sept. 17 and Oct. 10 outside the legal hunting season.
• taking a deer without a valid deer permit, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The offense occurred on Dec. 25.