Utah environmental activist appeals conviction
Updated: 5/09/2012 12:54 pm | Published: 5/09/2012 12:49 pm
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An environmental activist is seeking to overturn his two-year sentence for disrupting a federal oil-and-gas auction of public lands near Utah's national parks.
Defense lawyers argue that Tim DeChristopher was wrongly convicted at a federal trial in Salt Lake City last summer. They say DeChristopher lacked criminal intent and should have been allowed to testify that he was acting in civil disobedience to disrupt an auction he believed was illegal.
Arguments are set for Thursday before the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver.
Prosecutors say DeChristopher acted in bad faith and his conviction should stand.
The college student bid on nearly $1.7 million in leases he couldn't pay for while running up prices for others at the auction in 2010.
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