A Hessmer man was sentenced on April 11 in 12th Judicial District Court in Avoyelles Parish for his part in the cutting down of trees on the Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area (WMA).
Judge William Bennett sentenced Keith Savoy, 49, to serve two years in jail suspended, to pay $15,000 in civil restitution to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), $2,500 fine, $750 for the cost of prosecution and $400 in court costs. Savoy was also given five years of probation during which time he will not be allowed on any Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and not allowed to possess recreational hunting or fishing licenses.
Savoy also leased land where he had a hunting camp on the Avoyelles Parish School Board Property, which is adjacent to Spring Bayou WMA. Savoy has until July 1, 2016 to remove any property and then will not be allowed on school board property during the time of his probation.
Savoy was found guilty on March 2 for simple criminal damage to property with the value of damage being between $500 and $50,000. Savoy cut over 100 trees in the northeast corner of Spring Bayou WMA to block navigable access to an area known as the “fields” where he regularly hunted.
Avoyelles District Attorney Charles Riddle and Assistant District Attorney Tony Salario prosecuted the case.
LDWF enforcement agents arrested Savoy on March 6, 2014 at his residence for criminal damage to state property after a four month investigation.
The trees Savoy cut down ranged from 10 inches to 30 inches in diameter and up to 50 foot tall including cypress, oak and willow trees.
Agents involved in the case are Lt. John Volentine, Sgts. Gabe Guidry, Chad Watts and Bear Fletcher, and Senior Agents Doug Anderson Jr., Jay Callegari, Heath Wood, Kurt Hatten, Dale Wheat, Kenny Robertson and John Hattaway. Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Matthew Smith and Detective Jeremiah Honea also assisted in the case.
For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.