Bear Shooter Apologizes, Receives Suspended Jail Time

A major town uproar followed news of the September shooting and killing of a bear in the Lake Mary area. That shooting followed a summer of bear controversies in which citizens once again publicly proclaimed humane management of Mammoth’s bears. So, it’s not surprising that 58-year-old Roy Flores of Victorville realized he made a bad mistake and he apologized to the community of Mammoth Lakes. That’s what attorney Randy Gephart said about his client, who was sentenced this week on charges that he illegally shot a bear at Lake Mary on September 22. dead_bear

Shortly after the shooting, officials said that the man had been having a picnic with a companion when a female bear approached. Another person was able to scare the bear away for a time, but when the bear returned the man shot her in the head with a large caliber pistol.

After a lengthy investigation that involved the Mono District Attorneys Office, Fish and Game and others, Mono DA George Booth filed charges in this case in December. The Victorville resident, Roy Flores, was charged with the unlawful take of a bear without a tag, with a firearm. The second charge was for unlawful discharge of a firearm in a prohibited area.

After a February plea, Flores was sentenced this week. His defense Attorney Randy Gephart reports that from the beginning, Flores realized that he made a horrible mistake. Gephart says that the man has apologized to the community both orally and in writing. Flores was sentenced to 30 days suspended sentence, 100 hours of community service along with $395 in fines. Of the 100 hours of community service, Gephart says that Flores can serve 50 of those hours near his home, but 50 hours of community service will be served in Mono County working with Fish and Game.

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