The Great Falls Tribune reports that Nate Murphy plead innocent Thursday to federal charges of stealing fossils from Bureau of Land Management land between August of 2006 and August of 2007. Details about what kind of fossils and how many are unknown at this time. Murphy faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, an additional three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for the federal charges of theft of government property, as reported by the Great Falls Tribune on Thursday. The federal trial date is set for February 25, 2009.
The federal charges are in addition to state charges that were filed in Phillips County in September of 2008. These charges stem from the claim of theft of fossils (a small theropod) from private land outside of Malta, Montana. The state trial is slated to begin on March 18, 2009 in Malta, as reported by the Great falls Tribune on Friday.
Please check out the full stories at the Great Falls Tribune (by By Kim Skornogoski, a Tribune Staff Writer)for Thursday and Friday for complete details. You can also find details as this situation has progressed here.
Original story © by the Great Falls Tribune. Dinochick Blogs © ReBecca K. Hunt-Foster