Southern Utah Man Arrested for Deer Poaching in Utah

A southern Utah man was arrested for an almost three year old deer poaching case out of Nevada.

Poaching of a Mule Buck

USFWS Mountain-Prairie

In November of 2019 a nice sized mule deer buck was taken out illegally near the Utah Nevada border and for a couple years the killing went unnoticed. When Nevada game wardens realized a case of poaching had occurred in their state, they worked diligently with Utah law enforcement to track down the one responsible. Two and a half years and a lot of tax dollars later, they found the person responsible.

Barely an adult

21 year old Brayden Ray Norton of Washington, Utah was arrested for deer poaching, a category E felony in Nevada. At the time of the crime, Norton was a fresh 18 year old that likely had goals in his adult like that didn’t include going to a Nevada jail for a prized deer he tagged. According to Nevada Fish and Game, Norton has never acquired a hunting license in Nevada and therefore would not have been approved for one of their hard to acquire large game tags.

Deer poaching

In Nevada, deer poaching is punishable as a category E felony, punishable by one to four years in prison with a fine as much as $5,000. In Utah, deer poaching is known as illegal taking, possession or wanton destruction of protected wildlife. Section 23-20 4.7 adds that “A person is guilty of habitual wanton destruction of protected wildlife if the person . . . takes a big game animal”. Utah Code 23-20-4.5 notes that punishment for poaching a deer is a restitution amount of $400 to as much as $8,000 for a trophy animal. A person found guilty of deer poaching can also face a third degree felony, punishable but one to five years in prison and an additional fine of up to $5,000.

State borders

Photo by: Ken Lund

Nevada Fish and Game stated that the poaching incident occurred in Lincoln County, Nevada that happens to be the third largest county in Nevada, seventh largest in the nation. The east side of Lincoln county stretches the length of four Utah counties: Millard, Beaver, Iron, and Washington as well as the northwest tip of Arizona, that includes the well-known Virgin River Gorge. Most of this area between Lincoln County and its bordering counties is sparsely populated wilderness, with only a few major highways linking it to Utah. The remaining pathways between the two states on Utah’s southwestern borders are dirt roads, unpaved and possible unmarked. Nevada officials did not elaborate on how close to the Utah border the poaching incident had occurred or whether or not Norton was aware he had crossed into a neighboring state.

Intentional or accidental

Although he was not a licensed hunter in Nevada, Norton has obviously had experience hunting as he was able to bring down that large buck. It is possible Norton had been a licensed Utah hunter, a favorite pastime for many Utah parents and their children.At 18 years old, Norton had probably spent most of his hunting life under the watchful eye of his parents. Game wardens in Nevada claimed that Norton tried to get away with poaching yet, could he have been licensed in Utah and mistakenly crossed into Nevada while navigating back roads? While there are some laws that punish a person for accidentally committing a crime, most punish a person who has knowledge and intent – two things that Norton may not have had in this case. Anyone facing criminal charges in Utah or neighboring states is encouraged to seek legal counsel from a qualified attorney who can help a defendant show defend their mistakes and reveal their true intentions.

Intoxicated Utah Boat Driver Arrested for Automobile Homicide

An intoxicated Utah boat driver was arrested for automobile homicide for allegedly causing the death of one of his passengers while boating in Flaming Gorge over Mother’s Day weekend.

Drinking and sailing

Photo by: Ozzy Delaney

25 year old Corey Eggleston of Vernal, Utah was arrested for automobile homicide and DUI charges after one of his passengers fell from the boat and drowned. Eggleston admitted had been drinking alcohol while operating the boat at Flaming Gorge Reservoir Saturday when he made a maneuver that caused the boat to start taking on water. That maneuver resulted in multiple passengers of Eggleston’s boat to fall into the water. None of the passengers were wearing life vests and one male passenger was pronounced dead after being pulled from the water.

Automobile homicide

Eggleston was booked into Uintah County Jail on DUI charges as well as automobile homicide. Utah Code 76-5-207 states: “Criminal homicide is automobile homicide, a third degree felony, if the person operates a motor vehicle in a negligent manner causing the death of another and:
(i) has sufficient alcohol in his body . . . of .05 grams or greater at the time of the test;
(ii) is under the influence of alcohol, any drug, or the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely operating a vehicle [or boat]; or
(iii) has a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .05 grams or greater at the time of operation.”
If the person was found to behaving in a criminally negligent manner when they caused the death of another, the charges would be increased to a second degree felony.

Negligence when boating

Section 76-5-207 goes on to explains that “. . . negligent means simple negligence, the failure to exercise that degree of care that reasonable and prudent persons exercise under like or similar circumstances.”Criminal negligence on the other hand is defined by 76-2-103 as “. . . when [the actor] ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise in all the circumstances as viewed from the actor’s standpoint.”

Mistake or “gross deviation” of care

Although Eggleston likely didn’t intent to cause the death of his passenger, drinking while operating the boat was considered a negligent act and could have been prevented by choosing sobriety while boating instead. No details have been released stating how much Eggleston had been drinking or whether or not, prior to the incident, he was behaving in a manner that would show a disregard for the safety of others (other than his consuming alcohol.) Anyone facing charges for negligently causing the death or another is encouraged to seek the help of a qualified attorney to ensure intent and level of negligence is honestly portrayed during court proceedings.

Utah man arrested for murder of Mother and desecration of a human body

A Utah man has been arrested for the murder of his mother and desecration of a human body.

Blunt force trauma

Desecration of a Human Body

42 year old Uriah Lee Scott had been living temporarily in his mother’s trailer home in Troy, Michigan when police responded to the residence on a welfare check. Other relatives of Scott’s mother had not heard from her in a few days and became worried, prompting a call to police. When authorities arrived, they found the mother’s body hidden in a closet. An autopsy report stated she died due to blunt force trauma to the head. Scott was located at a friend’s home nearby and arrested for murder and desecration of a human body.

Moving the body

While Scott is first-most being charged with the murder of his mother, he is also facing charges for what he did with her body following the murder. Police did not report any mutilation or other disfigurement occurring with the body but the body was moved and covered up with items in the closet. This was likely done to partially conceal the crime that Scott has committed, however all this did was add more charges against him.

Desecration of a human body

Since Scott was arrested in Michigan, he will face charges for his crimes there. According to the Michigan Penal Code 750.160, “A person. . . who shall willfully dig up, disinter, remove, or convey away a human body, or the remains thereof . . . shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 10 years, or by fine of not more than $5,000.00.” Had he committed his crime in Utah, the penalties would have been slightly less severe. Utah Code 76-9-704 states “A person is guilty of abuse or desecration of a dead human body if the person intentionally and unlawfully:

    • . . . Disturbs, moves, removes, conceals, or destroys a dead human body or any part of it;
    • Dismembers a dead human body to any extent, or damages or detaches any part of portion of a [it]. . . ;
    • Commits or attempts to commit upon any dead human body any act of sexual penetration . . . “

Desecration of a human body in Utah is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, which is half of the incarceration time of Michigan law.

Mental health check

Little information has been provided regarding Scott or his mental health upon and after his arrest, however the judge over the case has ordered he undergo a psych evaluation. Anyone facing charges that could have been sparked by a mental health episode are encouraged to seek immediate guidance from a qualified attorney.