Woman accused of killing Gila monster pleads not guilty

AP News
Posted: May 05, 2016 7:34 PM

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — An Arizona woman accused of killing a federally protected Gila monster and bragging about it online has pleaded not guilty.

Sarah Elisabeth Crabtree, of Tucson, faces five citations including the taking of wildlife without a license. Each citation carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $750 fine.

The 26-year-old Crabtree posted photos of the dead lizard with a screwdriver through its head on her Facebook page March 28. After public outcry, the Arizona Game and Fish Department cited her.

Federal protection makes catching or killing the Gila monster illegal in Arizona. The venomous reptiles have black bodies with orange, yellow or pink markings.

Crabtree has a court appearance scheduled for June 16.