- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The latest on a Utah county commissioner convicted of organizing an illegal ATV protest ride (all times local):

1:30 p.m.

The U.S. attorney for Utah says his office is pleased with the sentence imposed on a county commissioner convicted of organizing an illegal ATV protest ride over a federal land decision.

Prosecutor John Huber said during a news conference Friday in Salt Lake City that the judge’s 10-day jail sentence was thoughtful and reasoned.

He says the case against San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman shows his office will prosecute all violations of federal law, no matter where a person falls on the political spectrum.

Huber says people can’t flout the law and expect nothing will come of it.

Defense lawyer Peter Stirba says he’s glad the hearing is over but declined to say whether he’ll appeal the sentence.

Lyman declined to comment outside the courthouse.


11 a.m.

A Utah county commissioner who became a central figure in the movement challenging the federal government’s management of Western public lands has been sentenced to 10 days behind bars and three years’ probation for organizing an illegal ATV protest ride.

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman was sentenced Friday.

Federal prosecutors had asked a judge to give Lyman up to a year behind bars after he was convicted of on federal misdemeanors. They argued he used his office to encourage people to break the law in the ride designed to protest what organizers called federal overreach in the closure of Recapture Canyon in southeast Utah.

Federal officials closed the canyon to motorized vehicles in 2007 to protect Native American cliff dwellings, artifacts and burials.

Lyman’s attorneys sought probation and community service rather than prison time. Lyman recognized recently in court documents that he made a mistake and wouldn’t do it again.

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