Big Lake father and son will go on trial for allegedly harassing hunters
A father and son from Big Lake will go on trial in Hubbard County next week for allegedly harassing Hubbard County residents who turned the father in last year for hunting violations he was eventually convicted of.
No date had been picked for trial as of press time Tuesday, but Stephen Donald Battin, 62, and Stephen Donald David Battin, 34, are each charged with Trespass and Hunter Harassment. Battin Sr. also faces a charge of First Degree Witness Tampering in the long-standing dispute with conservation officers and other hunters.
Battin Sr., and his friend Dennis Cook were sentenced in May 2011 to electronic home monitoring after DNR officers investigated reports of poaching and found marijuana growing on leased hunting land near Badoura.
In that case, Battin Sr. pled guilty to Hunter Harassment and a Third Degree Controlled Substance Crime. He was barred from possessing firearms for five years during his probation.
Cook pled guilty to the illegal taking of a deer and received two years of probation and loss of his hunting privileges during that time.
The Battins were charged in November 2011 for allegedly returning to the leased land and threatening the hunters who lodged the initial complaint. Battin Sr. had lost the hunting lease after the 2011 conviction and both men were prohibited from being on the land, according to the criminal complaints.
The Trespass charges each carry a maximum of 1 year and/or a $3,000 fine upon conviction. The Hunter Harassment charges are each punishable by a maximum of 90 days and/or a $1,000 fine. The Witness Tampering charge against Battin Sr.,for allegedly spray painting the hunters' wood shed, is punishable by a maximum of 5 years and/or a $10,000 fine upon conviction.
Trial is expected to last two days.