By Eric Blom
Four defendants on pleaded guilty Friday to three of seven charges for poaching the four moose killed near Hudson in October.
The incident, which was termed "a slaughter" by the presiding judge during the hearing, sparked outrage among residents who noted that moose only recently had repopulated the area around Hudson after years of absence.
In Riverton Circuit court, Wyoming 9th Judicial District judge Wesley A. Roberts accepted plea agreements dropping the four other counts.
"This was completely lacking in any modicum of sportsmanship, fair chase and ethics in hunting ...
"This was a slaughter and nothing more," Roberts said.
"What a prized possession you've taken away from the citizens of Wyoming, the United States and, frankly, the world."
Sammy Edlund, 30, of Gillette; Danielle Najera, 28, of Gillette; Phillip "P.J." Warren, 31, of Arapahoe; and Phillip "Rocky" Hurtado, 73, of Arapahoe, pleaded guilty to taking an antlered moose without a license in an area with no season, wanton destruction of a big game animal and entering enclosed property without permission.
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