ENFIELD, Conn. (AP) _ An 82-year-old Connecticut man has applied for a special court program that would spare him prison time for shooting to death a black bear in January.

The Hartford Courant reports that John Rocha of Windsor asked a judge Thursday to grant him accelerated rehabilitation, a special probation available to first-time offenders.

Rocha has acknowledged shooting the 5- to 6-year-old bear with a .30-caliber rifle on Jan. 4, after he saw it and a cub ripping into some neighbors’ garbage. The younger bear was later tranquilized and relocated.

Rocha was charged with illegally killing a black bear and negligent hunting.

Judge Howard Scheinblum is scheduled to rule on Rocha’s request during his next court appearance on March 4.

Information from: The Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  1. Louie says:

    It’s a shame some people are so quick to take the life of an animal just because it broke a birdfeeder. These animals were here long before us. Leave them alone. The Poor bear cub was relocated & left on it’s own. Shame on you Mr. Rocha.

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