Campers kill, grill snake but get an unexpected side of fines

Timber Rattlesnake
Photo c/o: Wikimedia Commons

CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — Four young men got more than a meal when they killed and grilled a timber rattlesnake in western Maryland – they were hit with fines of $200 each in court.

Online court records show the men from Glen Burnie pleaded guilty Tuesday in district court in Cumberland to possessing or destroying the rattlesnake. It’s a state-protected species.

Each was fined $500, with $300 suspended. All received probation before judgment, meaning their convictions can be expunged after probationary periods ranging from 14 to 28 months.

Maryland Natural Resources Police say the men were camping in the Green Ridge State Forest in August when they killed the snake with a BB gun and grilled it.

The defendants are 18-year-olds Austin Golas and Travis Luedtke and 19-year-olds Paul Lafon and Erick Reffitt.

A fifth defendant, 19-year-old Jared Holt, is scheduled for trial Dec. 8.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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