- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

GILLETTE, Wyo. (AP) - A 32-year-old Wyoming man has been sentenced to eight to 12 years in prison for shooting a cow with a stolen rifle, disposing of the carcass with a stolen backhoe and then crashing the backhoe into a ditch.

The Gillette News Record reports (http://bit.ly/1E2Jw0u) District Judge Thomas Rumpke sentenced Justin Michael Epley on Friday. The sentence will run concurrent to a nearly three-year federal sentence Epley received in April for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Investigators say Epley told a cellmate he shot the animal more than 50 times in September 2013.

Epley pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and destruction of property. The plea agreement requires Epley to pay restitution for the guns and possibly the backhoe damage, depending on the terms of the owner’s insurance policy.

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Information from: The Gillette (Wyo.) News Record, http://www.gillettenewsrecord.com

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