Arraignment set for two illegal elk killing cases

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Rodney Culverwell, 41, and Kenneth Wolgram, 43, two Moffat County ranchers alleged to have killed elk illegally on their property, are ordered to appear in Moffat County District Court for their first advisement of the charges at 8:30 a.m. April 15.

Both men were served a felony summons Tuesday after the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office filed felony and misdemeanor charges against the two men that day.

Culverwell is charged with 18 counts of willful destruction of wildlife, class 5 felonies, and 18 counts of illegal possession of wildlife, misdemeanors.

Wolgram is charged with 16 counts of willful destruction of wildlife and 16 counts of illegal possession of wildlife.

Colorado Division of Wildlife officers investigated Culverwell for about six weeks and Wolgram for about three weeks before serving search warrants Feb. 22.

Elk carcasses, firearms and ammunition were found on both suspects' property. Officials also seized 63 packages of non-commercially processed meat, cutting utensils and two whole coyotes from Wolgram's property.

Typically, cases are granted a two- to four-week continuance at first advisement hearings, said Jeremy Snow, deputy district attorney for the 14th Judicial District.

After that, depending on whether a preliminary hearing is granted, suspects are allowed to enter into plea negotiations, Snow added.

There's normally a two-month window between the first advisement hearing and a case's first court date, when suspects may enter pleas.

If a suspect pleads not guilty, Snow said, Moffat County courts generally set trial dates about five to six months ahead.

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