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Scout Leaders Who Toppled Ancient Rock Formation Are Charged

Saturday, February 01, 2014

A former Boy Scout leader who toppled an ancient rock formation in Utah's Goblin Valley State Park, and another Scout leader who videotaped the incident, are being charged with criminal mischief.

As we reported in October, David Hall filmed Glenn Taylor pushing over a giant, mushroom-shaped sandstone pillar, known as a hoodoo, that dates back to the Jurassic Period, 145 to 170 million years ago. The video was posted online, where it went viral. The pair, and a third man, are heard cheering as the pillar topples over.

At the time both Hall and Taylor were leading a Scouting trip, but they were later ejected from the Boy Scouts over the incident.

Hall is accused of criminal mischief and Taylor with assisting criminal mischief, both felonies.

The pair have claimed that the rock formation was precarious and could have hurt someone had it unexpectedly fallen over.

The Associated Press reports:

"Emery County Attorney David Blackwell said he filed the charges Friday but is trying to negotiate a plea deal."

"Both men, of Highland, Utah, about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City, were ordered to appear in state court March 18 ..."

"'We are taking it seriously,' Blackwell said. 'It's been an interesting case, mostly because of the attention it's garnered.'"

"Blackwell said any defense asserting the goblin-shaped rock was ready to tip over 'would need to have a lot of expert testimony, and it would probably go both ways.'"

Utah's KSL.com quotes Hall on Friday as saying that the men have already apologized and "said what needed to be said" about the incident.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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