Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Troy Gentry Press Statement

Gentry, 39, and Lee Marvin Greenly, 46, who owns Minnesota Wildlife Connection near Sandstone, were charged in August with conspiracy and falsely "tagging" the "trophy-caliber" bear by claiming it was shot in the wild. In reality, the tame bear was shot in a fenced area of several acres.
After the indictment, Gentry's Nashville agent shifted the blame for any improper conduct to Greenly, and online fan discussion forums were abuzz with debate over whether Gentry was a bona fide big-game hunter or a wannabe.

Gentry, in a statement released by his management company, said he regrets what happened, but he stops short of accepting any culpability other than relying on Greenly's guidance.

"I did participate in improperly tagging the animal I shot, without realizing the seriousness of what I was doing. For that, I am truly sorry," the statement said. "I relied on the experts around me for guidance, and I regret that today. Not so much because I was fined and punished, but because it appears that I don't have respect for the law." He says the legal case "has been a humbling experience for me, and one which I deeply regret."

Gentry's attorney, Ron Meshbesher, of Minneapolis and the U.S. attorney's office worked out the plea bargain last week, and Gentry entered his new plea Monday morning before U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson, sitting in Duluth. In return for the guilty plea, prosecutors dropped a felony count against Gentry. "It was emphasized by the judge … that he was merely charged with an improper tagging where the bear was killed," Meshbesher said. "The bear was legally harvested.''

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