Accused poacher sentenced to prison. Judge: “I’ve had murder and rape cases that did not…

Jason Bradley Hutt was sentenced to 38 months in prison on Thursday for hunting violations. We could not find a longer jail sentence ever in the state of Washington.

Hutt, 29, entered an Alford plea to five counts of first-degree unlawful hunting of big game and one count of waste of wildlife. An Alford plea is when the defendant does not admit guilt but admits there is enough evidence to support a conviction.

Hutt and an accomplice killed 3 bears, 3 elk, and 2 deer in two different counties during the summer of 2018. Hutt had already been charged with 24 counts of poaching stemming from a prior investigation in 2016. The charges were from illegally killing 2 elk, killing a bear over bait while leaving it to rot, and illegal fishing.

“I’m not aware of anyone else going to prison for a wildlife poaching case like this before,” Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Kit Rosenberger said in a Thursday interview.

Matthew Roberson, Clallam County deputy prosecuting attorney, said he believes this is the first person to go to prison on a unlawful hunting of big game conviction since the charge became a felony.

“It communicates deterrence for the general population. Those who would want to engage in crimes like Mr. Hutt will now know, at least in Clallam County, you can be sent to prison for poaching.”

Superior court Judge Brian Coughenour told Hutt that he would be amazed by the response from the community. adding, “I’ve had murder cases and rape cases where we didn’t get as many letters from community people saying ‘Send this guy away because of this kind of activity.’