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Home / Opinions / Courts / 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals / Criminal Law: Disturbing Wildlife-Drainage Project-Mental State

Criminal Law: Disturbing Wildlife-Drainage Project-Mental State

Where a landowner, who was charged with knowingly disturbing property within the National Wildlife Refuge System, appealed his conviction and sentence, the instruction given by the district court was erroneous because it did not require the jury to find that the defendant acted with the necessary mens rea, and the conviction is vacated because the subsection involved here required the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant should have known that there was a substantial risk that his action would violate or fail to comply with the provision of the relevant act.

Vacated; remanded.

U.S. v. Mast (MLW No. 73933/Case No. 18-1861 – 12 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Kelly, J.) Appealed from U.S. District Court, District of South Dakota, Schreier, J. (Gary Leistico, St Cloud, Minnesota, argued for appellant) (Jeffrey C. Clapper, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, argued for appellee).