Recapture Canyon sentencing delayed for two months
Sentencing for two men convicted of organizing the May, 2014 Recapture Canyon protest has been delayed for two months.
Monticello resident Monte Wells and San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman will be sentenced on September 15 before Federal Judge Robert Shelby. Sentencing was initially scheduled for July 15.
Lyman has retained new legal counsel and desires additional time to review documents and prepare for sentencing, according to a motion to delay the sentencing.
The men were each convicted of two misdemeanor counts for organizing and participating in the protest ride, which entered portions of Recapture Canyon that have been closed to motorized traffic. At sentencing, Lyman and Wells could face up to one year in prison, a $100,000 fine, and damages for each charge.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ordered a “temporary closure” of the area in 2007. After seven years of efforts to reopen the canyon, several hundred local residets lost patience with the process and participated in the protest.
Two other local men were acquitted by the jury.