Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Bidegain accepts probation-like plan

 

February 10, 2015



QCS Staff

Rancher and former New Mexico Game Commission chair Scott Bidegain of Tucumcari has agreed to complete a two-year probation-style program in return for having illegal cougar hunting charges against him dropped.

Tenth Judicial District Attorney Tim Rose made the announcement Monday in a news release.

Bidegain and co-defendant Larry Webb of Newkirk agreed to the “pre-prosecution diversion” program that includes reporting in monthly, paying monthly fees, completing 24 hours of community service, taking a prison tour and completing other conditions set by Rose’s office, the news release said.

All charges were dropped against a third defendant, Bill Ivy of Canyon, Texas, the news release said.

Bidegain resigned as chair of the game commission after he and other members of a hunting party were charged with illegally killing a cougar in February 2014. Bidegain’s family operates the 180,000-acre T-4 Ranch, based in Montoya.

Rose said the pre-prosecution diversion program is designed for persons without a criminal record who are charged with non-violent crimes.

Rose said he will not forego the prosecution of more serious crimes “to prosecute two otherwise outstanding and honorable men of this community for a petty misdemeanor in which their guilt is questionable.”

Cited along with Bidegain after the February 2014 cougar hunt were Webb, Ivy, Chad Hassell of Childress, Texas; and Jason E. Roselius of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Roselius pleaded no-contest to charges of unlawful hunting or fishing in May 2014 and received a sentence of 90 days of unsupervised probation and paid $73 in court fees. Charges against Hassell were dropped last July.

 

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