Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tree Arborcide

I wonder what the precise charge is?

Man gets 5 years in tree massacre
The 61-year-old, who felled 500 trees that blocked his view of Sin City, had made other threats, a prosecutor says.
By Ashley Powers
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
LAS VEGAS -- Residents of an upscale retirement community near here knew Douglas Hoffman was upset that trees were blocking his backyard view of the Strip.

But at a hearing Monday, where Hoffman was sentenced to up to five years in prison for killing more than 500 trees, a prosecutor said the retired construction worker had threatened to unleash "chemical, biological, nuclear mass destruction" because of it.

Dressed in jail garb and handcuffed to his wheelchair, Hoffman, 61, slumped and lowered his eyes when Judge Donald M. Mosley announced his sentence.

"I am not a bad person. I am a good person," said Hoffman, who has hip, back, heart and prostate problems.

The case has been closely watched in fast-growing Clark County, where tract homes and transplanted trees have obscured many homeowners' mountain and casino views.

A few years ago, Hoffman and his wife bought a second home in a Henderson retirement haven just south of Las Vegas. Mesquite trees and other recently planted vegetation soon grew 8 feet tall, obscuring the view from their deck. The couple asked a homeowners committee if they could swap out the trees for shrubs, but were told no.

Shortly after, in October 2004, a yearlong tree massacre began. Tops were lopped off. Entire trees were chopped down. ....

....In pushing for a harsh sentence, Clark County Deputy Dist. Atty. Joshua Tomsheck on Monday revealed that a rambling, typed letter had been sent to the governor's office while Hoffman was awaiting trial.

"If no changes come soon -- and soon means now, immediately -- the militia has many options," it read. Among those listed were razing and burning homes, drive-by shootings, setting off improvised explosive devices and unleashing a weapons cache.

1 comment:

squirrelmama said...

For punishment he should be sentenced to rewrite, by hand, the entire book, "The Man Who Planted Trees," (the story of Jean Giono). First in English. And then in its original French.