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Police recommend charges for threat over feral animal bill



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CLEARFIELD -- Police are recommending charges against a Clinton woman who they believe is responsible for a threat made to a Utah lawmaker over his bill that allows for the shooting of feral animals.

Clearfield police say the 54-year-old woman was behind one of three e-mails sent to Rep. Curt Oda, R-Clearfield. It's unclear who is responsible for the other two. Police are investigating whether the e-mails and their senders are connected to animal extremist groups.

Police have not made public the contents of the e-mail they say was sent by the woman from Clinton. They confirm it threatened harm in some form. They say under the law, that's enough to recommend a charge of threats to influence official or political action, a class-A misdemeanor.

Police acknowledge the proposal to allow shooting of feral animals is controversial but say it's no excuse.

Sgt. Kyle Jeffries of the Clearfield Police Department said, "With the way things are in the world today, with Tucson and everything else, anytime anybody is being threatened -- especially a legislator or any representative like that -- we're going to take those threats even more serious now and follow up on those threats."

The threats were received after word surfaced of Oda's bill, which changes the animal cruelty statute to exempt anybody who shoots or humanely kills an animal that person believes is feral.

Police are not releasing the name of the woman facing charges until those charges become official.

The Davis County Attorney says formal charges will not be screened until all the evidence is in, probably not until next week.

Police say it's possible more people could face charges as the investigation continues.

E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

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Andrew Adams

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