Sea Lion Shot in Eye - Conviction and Jail Time
On October 15, 2010 Larry Allen Legans was convicted of intentionally maiming or wounding a living animal. His sentence includes 30 days in jail, 5 years of probation, and restitution of over $50,000 to go toward veterinary treatment expenses. During his probation, Mr. Legans is barred from all hunting and fishing activities.
Sutter County District Attorney Carl Adams released this press release which states in part:
"I am also very proud of the effort made in my own office. Alison Boutilier, Deputy District Attorney has worked very hard on achieving this result and Chief Trial Deputy Cameron King made major efforts in the beginning to coordinate our case with the unfolding story of the capture and rescue of our ‘victim.'"
The investigation in this matter began last November 10, when Special Agent Don Tanner of the National Marine Fisheries Service Office received a phone report of the shooting. His investigation was coordinated with the California Department of Fish and Game, and agents Matthew Galli and Steve Johnson were assigned to the criminal investigation.
During the ongoing story of the injured sea lion, multiple agencies were involved in both the criminal investigation of the shooting and the capture of "Sgt. Nevis" for treatment. Special Agent in Charge Don Masters of the National Marine Fisheries Service credited the cooperation, "As a society we cannot tolerate such violent actions against these animals. Our agents and officers working with our state partners are doing all they can to bring those responsible to justice."
Now facing the charge of felony animal cruelty, pretrial court dates for the Larry Allen Legans case are currently scheduled for May 18, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. and May 21 at 9 a.m. Sgt. Nevis recently received a visit from the deputy for whom he was named - the sea lion continues to slowly recover.
(Sutter County, CA) Charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty, negligent discharge of a firearm, and the taking of a marine mammal, Larry Allen Legans was arrested by California Department of Fish & Game wardens on November 21, 2009. While fishing on the Sacramento River near Verona 10 days earlier, Legans reportedly warned a nearby boater that they “may not want to watch this,” and allegedly shot a sea lion in the eye with a 12-guage shotgun.
When the injured sea lion was seen later that day up on a dock, concerned citizens called in the Marine Mammal Center to assess the suffering animal. The sea lion initially eluded rescuers by going back into the water, but was rescued by the Center on December 5. He is now known as "Sgt. Nevis" – his caregivers having named him after a deputy with the Yolo County Sheriff’s Department who kept an attentive watch over the sea lion and assisted with the rescue. Sgt. Nevis’ fate is still uncertain, updates on his recovery status can be found here.
Clerk of the Court
Sutter County Superior Court
446 Second Street
Yuba City, CA 95991