Trial set in alleged attempt to steal dead lion

AP News
Posted: Nov 29, 2011 2:21 PM
Trial set in alleged attempt to steal dead lion

Four Ohio men will face trial early next year on charges they tried to steal the carcass of a lion that was among exotic animals set free by a suicidal owner.

The lion was among 48 wild animals killed by sheriff's deputies in eastern Ohio's Muskingum County last month after their owner opened the cages and killed himself.

Multiple media outlets report a Jan. 6 trial has been scheduled. Each man is charged with a misdemeanor count of theft and faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted.

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Legislation restricting or banning exotic animal ownership in Ohio is expected as soon as next week.

State Sen. Troy Balderson will meet with Senate President Tom Niehaus (NEE'-hows) on Wednesday about setting a timeline for the bill.