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Judge favors stiffer sentence in Utah mink case

Judge favors stiffer sentence in Utah mink case



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge says he wants a stiffer sentence than recommended for a Layton man accused in the release of hundreds of mink at a South Jordan farm.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson on Thursday said the six-month prison term recommended in a plea deal with 23-year-old William James Viehl is too lenient. Benson says he favors a sentence of at least two years in prison.

In August 2008, about 600 mink were released and breeding records destroyed at the McMullin mink farm about 20 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Viehl has pleaded guilty to using a cell phone for the purpose of damaging an animal operation.

Benson scheduled another sentencing hearing for Dec. 7. A second man charged in the case, Alex Hall, is scheduled for trial the same day.

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Information from: Standard-Examiner

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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