Judge denies defense strategy in false bidder case

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Correction: National parks drilling story SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- In a Nov. 16 story about a federal case involving a college student's disruption of an oil and gas auction in Utah, The Associated Press erroneously described a ruling by U.S. District Judge Dee Benson.

The judge granted the prosecutors' motion to limit what kind of defense could be used by attorneys for Tim DeChristopher, who wanted to argue that he acted for the greater good by bidding up lease parcels. The story incorrectly said the judicial ruling was about a defense motion outlining that strategy.

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

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A federal judge says he won't allow global warming to be put on trial in the case of a college student charged with disrupting an auction of oil and gas drilling leases near some of Utah's national parks.

U.S. District Judge Dee Benson on Monday denied a motion by lawyers for University of Utah student Tim DeChristopher to mount a defense that he acted in the interest of the greater good by bidding up parcels at a Bureau of Land Management auction last December.

DeChristopher has said he was acting to call attention to global warming.

He was indicted in April on felony charges of interfering with a government auction and making false representations.

In his ruling, Benson says DeChristopher didn't show his actions would have prevented imminent harm and that he had other means at his disposal to challenge the leases.

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

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