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State lawmaker working toward resolution in poaching case

Rep. Travis Seegmiller
Posted at 4:10 PM, Feb 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-15 18:16:14-05

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A state lawmaker facing poaching-related charges may be close to a resolution in the case, his attorney said Tuesday.

Rep. Travis Seegmiller, R-St. George, appeared in a justice court to face misdemeanor charges of unlawful taking of wildlife while trespassing and discharge of a firearm. During the brief hearing, Rep. Seegmiller's attorney, Douglas Terry, said they were working to resolve the case.

"We will continue to try to resolve this case, but I think at this juncture we are going to ask the clerk to give us a bench trial setting," Terry told the judge.

Judge Douglas Whitlock set a May trial date unless the case was resolved before then. Rep. Seegmiller has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has so far declined to comment on the case, according to the Utah House of Representatives.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources told FOX 13 News back in October that Rep. Seegmiller was accused of shooting a deer on private property from a vehicle in New Harmony. He entered onto the property, the agency alleged, without permission from the land owner who also confronted him after hearing a gunshot. The agency said Rep. Seegmiller loaded the deer into his vehicle and left before officers arrived. The animal was later seized as part of the investigation.

Millard County is prosecuting the case because of conflicts of interest given Rep. Seegmiller's seat in the state legislature representing the St. George area. If he is convicted, he could face a censure or expulsion from the House of Representatives.