November 25, 2013

Illegal hunting draws 9-month jail term

Mt. Vernon man pleads guilty to dozens of charges

By Betty Adams badams@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — A Mount Vernon man was sentenced Monday on more than 30 charges of violating hunting laws and one charge of illegal possession of a firearm.

Joseph A. Deleskey, 39, of Mount Vernon had pleaded guilty in April in Kennebec County Superior Court to the felony firearms charge, but the case was postponed to deal with multiple demeanor charges, including 13 charges of night hunting.

On Monday, he pleaded guilty to some of the other charges, including having a loaded firearm or crossbow in a motor vehicle, hunting deer after having killed one, driving deer, criminal trespass, hunting or possessing wild turkey during closed season. He was sentenced to three years in jail, with all but nine months suspended, and two years of probation.

Conditions of probation ban him from hunting without a valid license.

Deleskey also was ordered to pay more than $15,215 in fines and charges. Justice Michaela Murphy agreed to allow Deleskey to report to jail Jan. 2, 2014, to begin his jail sentence.

“He apologized for his actions to the court and his family,” said Deleskey’s attorney, Walter McKee. “We were pleased that the ultimate result was a county jail sentence instead of a Department of Corrections sentence, which is what the state had requested, and we were pleased that the fines were significantly less than what was originally proposed.”

Previously 15 counts of the original 57 charges were condensed into one felony count, which left Deleskey charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. Deleskey was prohibited from having a firearm because he was convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon on Feb. 3, 2000, in Salem District Court in Massachusetts.

Deleskey and a number of his relatives and friends were charged with numerous hunting law violations after an 18-month investigation by the Maine Warden Service, which alleged that Deleskey was involved in illegally killing or wounding more than a dozen deer between Oct. 14, 2010, and Dec. 4, 2011.

“I very much appreciate the great work by the warden service which is what made it possible to get a plea to 32 counts,” District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Monday.

The state had sought a sentence of three years in prison with all but one year suspended and two years probation.

Deleskey’s brother, Richard M. Deleskey, 42, of Danvers, Mass., was sentenced in Franklin County Superior Court to three days in jail on a night hunting charge and 10 days in jail on a charge of illegal possession of a firearm. Two other charges against him were dismissed, according to court records.

Charges remain pending against some of the individuals, including Joseph Deleskey’s father, Richard A. Deleskey, 63, of Danvers, Mass.

Betty Adams — 621-5631badams@centralmaine.comTwitter: @betadams

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