- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A magistrate judge has sentenced a Washington state man to six months in prison for shooting and killing a grizzly bear in northwestern Montana last year.

Shalako Katzer of Mead and federal prosecutors previously reached a deal that called for a sentence of a year of unsupervised probation in exchange for a guilty plea to unlawful taking of a threatened species.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch was not obligated to follow that recommendation. On Monday, he handed down the six-month prison sentence and ordered Katzer to pay $5,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors say Katzer was camping Lincoln County in May 2015 when he and his brother spotted a bear in the campground.

Katzer’s brother fired a rifle. The bear retreated, and the men followed it. Prosecutors say Katzer fired the fatal shot with a pistol.

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