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Monty Luke Pilgrim

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Year in review: CDP’s top stories of 2012

2012 was a rollercoaster ride for Moffat County. The community celebrated many wonderful events and stories, and also endured frustrations and mourned tragedy. The following is a list of the top 10 stories from the Craig Daily Press in 2012 as chosen by its staff. Some stories are grouped together — like court cases or health care stories — while other entries consist of a single feature story. Each of the listed stories can be found in its entirety by finding this story at www.craigdailypress.com:

Pilgrim appeals Moffat County cattle rustling conviction

State appellate court grants stay of execution

Earlier this month Monty Luke Pilgrim, 52, of Little Snake River, was expected to report to the Moffat County Public Safety Center to begin serving his 90-day jail sentence. But Pilgrim has decided to take his case to the Colorado Court of Appeals. He was granted a stay of execution pending his appeal, according to court documents. The notice was filed by Lakewood attorney Anthony Noble following Pilgrim’s Sept. 20 sentencing in Moffat County District Court. Pilgrim was charged in district court with nine counts of theft of agricultural animals, a Class 4 felony; nine counts of concealing strays, a Class 6 felony; and nine counts of wrongful branding, a Class 6 felony.

Moffat County rancher's trial under way

A jury trial in the case against a Moffat County rancher charged with violating state cattle statutes began this morning in Moffat County District Court. Monty Pilgrim, 52, of Little Snake River, is charged with one count of theft exceeding $20,000, a Class 3 felony; nine counts of theft of certain animals, a Class 4 felony; one count of concealing strays, a Class 6 felony; and one count of wrongful branding, a Class 6 felony. After more than four hours of questioning this morning, the jury pool was narrowed from 25 to 12, plus an alternate.

Cattle theft case against rancher bound for Moffat County District Court

A Moffat County rancher charged with violating state cattle statutes will be tried in Moffat County District Court. Monty Luke Pilgrim, 51, of Little Snake River, is charged with one count of theft exceeding $20,000, a Class 3 felony; nine counts of theft of certain animals, a Class 4 felony; one count of concealing estrays, a Class 6 felony; and one count of wrongful branding, a Class 6 felony. In a preliminary hearing Monday, Moffat County Court Judge Sandra Gardner found probable cause for the theft charge against Pilgrim, the only charge eligible for a preliminary hearing, and bound the case over to district court. He is scheduled for arraignment at 1 p.m. Feb. 29 in district court.

Local rancher to be arraigned Tuesday

A Moffat County rancher accused of violating state cattle statutes is scheduled to be arraigned in the Moffat County combined courts Tuesday. Monty Luke Pilgrim, 51, of Little Snake River, is suspected of being in possession of 36 cows belonging to nine area ranchers. His is also accused of misbranding 31 calves as his own. Formal charges were filed in Moffat County District Court on Tuesday, according to court records.

Rancher turns himself into authorities

A Moffat County rancher suspected of violating state cattle branding statutes turned himself into authorities Monday morning. Monty Luke Pilgrim, 51, of Little Snake River, reported to the Moffat County Jail about 10 a.m. He was booked into jail on suspicion of theft, a Class 3 felony; theft of certain animals, a Class 4 felony; wrongful branding, a Class 6 felony; and concealing estrays, a Class 6 felony.

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