A Hessmer man found guilty last month for cutting down more than 100 trees in the northeast corner of Spring Bayou Wildlife Management Area in December of 2014 was sentenced on Monday, according to a press release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Judge William Bennett sentenced Keith Savoy, 49, to serve two years in jail suspended, to pay $15,000 in civil restitution to the LDWF, to pay a $2,500 fine, $750 for the cost of prosecution and $400 in court costs.
Additionally, Savoy was given five years of probation, during which time he will not be allowed on any WMA or to possess a recreational hunting or fishing license.
Savoy also leased land from the Avoyelles Parish School Board adjacent to Spring Bayou WMA. According to the release, Savoy has until July 1 to remove his property, and will not be allowed back on school board property during his probation.
Savoy was found guilty on March 2 for simple criminal damage to property with the value of damage being between $500 and $50,000. Savoy cut over 100 trees in the northeast corner of Spring Bayou WMA to block navigable access to an area known as “The Fields” where he regularly hunted, the release states.
Avoyelles District Attorney Charles Riddle and Assistant District Attorney Tony Salario prosecuted the case.
After a four-month investigation, LDWF enforcement agents arrested Savoy on March 6, 2014 at his residence for criminal damage to state property.
The trees Savoy cut down ranged from 10 inches to 30 inches in diameter and stood up to 50 foot tall, including cypress, oak and willow trees, according to the release.