Friday, August 18, 2006
– Troy Gentry's manager defended the singer Friday in a press release, accusing the press of giving inaccurate information about the case involving the shooting of a bear in Minnesota two years ago.
Gentry was indicted by a U.S. federal court in Duluth, Minn., charged with conspiring with a licensed commercial bear guide and the owner of a private game farm in Minnesota. He pleaded not guilty. A trial is set for Nov. 27.
Johnny Dorris, Montgomery Gentry's manager, said on the band's web site, "Unfortunately, the false accusations made against Troy in the indictment have been reported in the media as a statement of fact."
"These charges are very serious, and the potential penalties are very severe," Dorris said. Gentry faces a $20,000 fine and five years in jail. Dorris said Gentry hired "the best trial lawyer" in Minnesota. he also said Gentry was advised not to make any statement about the facts of the case.
"Since Troy cannot speak for himself, I feel it is important to give you some perspective on this case that has not yet been reported in the media. Troy is accused of conspiring with a professional hunting guide to improperly fill out a hunting tag. To back up this charge, the indictment claims that Troy shot a tamed bear in a cage, then made a video to appear that he did not shoot the bear in a cage, but in the wild. These claims are wildly inaccurate."
"The bear in question was never in a cage or pen; not when it was killed or at anytime prior to that. This wild bear occupied its own habitat (consisting of several acres of woodlands) on a game preserve owned by the codefendant. Troy shot the bear with a bow and arrow from a tree stand mounted on the private game preserve. Troy did video tape this hunt for his personal use, but did not edit it to make it appear anything other than what it was. He did not distribute the video for commercial use or intend to use it to mislead anyone."
"Troy is an avid environmentalist and hunter who supports and follows all game laws. Before he killed the bear he was told by the bear guide that it was proper and legal to kill the bear which again was not a tamed bear and was never in a pen or cage. Troy reported the kill to the wildlife authorities and tagged the bear per the guidance of his professional guide. This all occurred in October 2004."
"Troy is disheartened that he has been falsely accused, and looks forward to speaking with the US Attorney's handling this case. A press release regarding the indictment was serviced to the media by the US Attorney's office in Minneapolis immediately following the arraignment. Although they were aware of Troy's legal counsel, they did not include his contact information in their press release as is customary. Thus the media ran with the false information on Tuesday evening without contacting anyone on Troy's behalf."
"The result is that Troy has been convicted in the court of public opinion without fair representation. A true travesty of justice for a guy who truly loves God's creation, treats it with respect, and obeys the laws designed to preserve and maximize its splendor."
"Please continue to support Troy and Montgomery Gentry in this time of crisis."