Country musician's disgrace now on YouTube for the world to see
Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) waged and won a three-year battle (including a victorious federal lawsuit) against the US Fish and Wildlife Service that forced the federal government to turn over the videotape of Gentry’s canned hunt killing. October 25, 2010, SHARK released that video on YouTube so that Gentry’s killing of an innocent bear can be seen by everyone.
When Troy Gentry, of the country music duo Montgomery Gentry, pled guilty to a crime resulting from the horrendous slaughter of a tame bear inside a one-acre electrified enclosure, he probably thought that everyone would soon forget about his cowardly and dishonorable act. He was wrong.
“Once you watch this video, you will see proof of how loathsome and revolting a human being can be,” states Steve Hindi, President of SHARK. “Troy Gentry’s actions are vile; he is a coward and a liar and he mercilessly slaughtered a beautiful animal who’s only fault was that he was worth more dead to his owner than alive.”
Troy Gentry Kills Tame Bear and Lies About It, Part 1
Troy Gentry's Cruel Bear Kill Exposed, Prosecuted, Part 2
Montgomery Gentry routinely supports animal abuse by playing at rodeos around the country. The deplorable Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming, Austin Rodeo in Texas, Houston Rodeo in Texas, Tri-State Rodeo in Iowa, Boot Heel Rodeo in Missouri, San Antonio Rodeo in Texas, and, of course not a state to be left out, at the Illinois State Fair and Rodeo. It just goes to show that those involved with rodeos have no respect for animal life, whether in or out of the arena.
Country singer and rodeo supporter guilty of killing penned bear, doctoring video
On behalf of SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness, the prestigious public interest law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal has challenged the Department of Interior's withholding of records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The documents in question served as the basis for two plea agreements stemming from felony violations of the Lacey Act.
In 2004, Country music singer Troy Gentry conspired to kill a black bear in an enclosed pen and then falsely tag it as killed in the wild. By way of his plea agreement, Gentry received only a tiny fraction of the maximum penalty available. Gentry could have been hit with a 5-year prison sentence. Instead he never served a day.
The FOIA lawsuit seeks the records underlying the plea agreements to examine whether the Interior Department zealously prosecuted this case notwithstanding Gentry's celebrity status and to ensure that the Lacey Act is being properly enforced.
Cubby was a tame black bear who was used in photo shoots throughout his life until he developed tooth problems. Deciding it would be too expensive to fix Cubby’s teeth, his owner, Lee Marvin Greenly (who was charged with two felonies in this case and also served no jail time), sold him to Troy Gentry. Gentry then killed Cubby while he was in a small enclosure.
As you can see in the heavily redacted photos below, the government is refusing to release key identifying information related to the case.
Montgomery Gentry routinely supports animal abuse by playing at rodeos around the country. The deplorable Cheyenne Frontier Days in Wyoming, Austin Rodeo in Texas, Houston Rodeo in Texas, Tri-State Rodeo in Iowa, Boot Heel Rodeo in Missouri, San Antonio Rodeo in Texas, and, of course not a state to be left out, at the Illinois State Fair and Rodeo. It just goes to show that those involved with rodeos have no respect or care for animal life, whether in or out of the arena.
SHARK v. FWS, No. 09-877 (CKK) (D.D.C.)
Singer Gentry sentenced in bear killing
February 27, 2007
The Associated Press
The bear was killed in October 2004 at the 80-acre Minnesota Wildlife Connection. Owner Lee Marvin Greenly sold the bear for $4,650 and orchestrated the hunt, which Gentry videotaped and edited to make it appear the bear had been killed in a fair chase hunt, according to authorities.
Montgomery Gentry, which includes co-singer Eddie Montgomery, are known for hits such as "My Town" and "If You Ever Stop Loving Me."
Country Star Pleads Guilty In Bear's Killing
November 27, 2006
The Associated Press
Under the plea, the 39-year-old country singer agreed to pay a $15,000 fine, give up hunting, fishing and trapping in Minnesota for five years, and forfeit both the bear's hide and the bow he used to shoot the animal in 2004. The bear, named "Cubby," was killed in a 3-acre private enclosure.
Gentry, of Franklin, Tenn., declined to comment to the Star Tribune of Minneapolis as he left the courthouse.
Ron Meshbesher, his attorney, said Gentry pleaded guilty to "a simple charge having to do with improper tagging (of a game animal), and that's all it ever was."
Lee Marvin Greenly, 46, Gentry's local hunting guide, pleaded guilty at the same hearing to two felony charges of helping other hunters shoot bears at illegal baiting stations he maintained inside a national wildlife refuge near Sandstone in east-central Minnesota.
Greenly faces a maximum prison sentence of five years for each count, forfeiture of all-terrain vehicles he and employees used to reach the bait stations, and a maximum fine of $400,000.
Gentry told the court he bought the bear from Greenly with the understanding they would videotape a hunt inside the bear's enclosure, which was surrounded by an electric fence.
U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ordered a pre-sentence investigation for both Gentry and Greenly and told them to appear for sentencing at a date to be announced later, or risk an additional charge.
In exchange for Gentry's plea, federal prosecutors dropped a felony charge of violating the Lacey Act, which authorities said bans possessing or transporting illegally obtained wildlife.
Gentry and Eddie Montgomery are the country singing duo Montgomery Gentry. Their hits include "My Town" and "If You Ever Stop Loving Me."
For more background on Gentry's brutality, see article below.
Country singer shot penned animal, doctored video, officials say.
August 17, 2006
By Beverley Keel
For The Tennessean
"Troy absolutely denies that he knowingly and willfully did anything illegal, and is confident that he will be exonerated," said his Minneapolis-based attorney, Ron Meshbesher, who said Gentry has never been interviewed by authorities. "They don't know his side of the story. He was told it was proper and legal to kill the bear.
At issue is whether Gentry was misled by a hunting guide, who the indictment says has established a pattern of illegally encouraging clients to shoot bears, or whether Gentry willfully ignored rules of sportsmanship and the law to obtain a bear to hang on the wall of his Franklin home.
"Apparently it was perfectly legal to kill that bear since he was the owner," Meshbesher said. "The government claims that once it was killed, there was mislabeled tagging because apparently the (property) owner indicated that it wasn't killed on his game farm. It is a highly technical charge. The whole point is, they have to prove that Troy knew it was wrong and willfully went ahead and did it anyhow, and that relates to the tagging, not the killing."
As attorneys stressed the situation's complexity, many country fans were quick to vilify Gentry. On Wednesday, country message boards at Velvetrope.com and CMT.com showed fans weighing in with overwhelmingly negative comments. CMT.com's Montgomery Gentry forum included heavy traffic with subject lines such as "NOT Something To Be Proud Of" — a reference to a Montgomery Gentry song — alongside "No more gossip stories please."
Gentry's duo partner, Eddie Montgomery, released a statement saying: "I was not involved, nor do I know specific details on the situation in question. But this much I do know: In our great country, a person is innocent until proven guilty. Before anyone assumes that Troy is guilty, I feel he has the right to explain himself, and feel confident that the truth will then prevail. Till then, Montgomery Gentry will continue doing what we love most ... making music for our friends and fans."
Also charged in the case, which stems from an investigation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was Lee Marvin Greenly, 46, owner of a Sandstone, Minn., wildlife refuge that has wolves and bears on its 80 acres.
The indictment alleges that in October 2004 Gentry paid Greenly $4,650 for Cubby, a tame, trophy-caliber, captive-reared black bear that was the largest bear used by Greenly in his wildlife photography business. After the purchase, the indictment says, Gentry killed Cubby with a bow and arrow while the bear was contained in a pen on Greenly's property. The indictment does not specify how large the pen was.
"While up in a tree stand, Troy used a bow and arrow to kill a bear that was running free in a several-acre fenced area in the game farm," his attorney said.
"Troy is an avid environmentalist and hunter who supports and follows all game laws," Meshbesher said. "Before he killed the bear, he was told by the bear guide that it was proper and legal to kill the bear, which was not a tamed bear and was never in a pen or cage."
The indictment states that on Oct. 13 the two men tagged the dead bear with a Minnesota hunting license and registered the animal with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as if it had been killed in the wild.
"Whatever information was on those tags was furnished by Greenly," Meshbesher said. "Greenly took him over to the DNR registration place, and Troy had a legitimate Minnesota hunting license issued in his name, which allowed him to kill up to two bears." He said the bear was not illegally killed because it wasn't killed on a refuge. "If there was mislabeling, it was not the result of Troy's actions."
The bear's demise was videotaped, but court documents said the tape was edited later to show that Cubby had been killed in a "fair chase" hunting situation.
Gentry's attorney said the circumstances of the videotaping have been mischaracterized: "The only editing done was to remove the dead time from the videotape (more than one hour long), reducing the tape to about 15 minutes." He said the video was for Gentry's personal use.
On Oct. 20, the bear's hide was sent via Federal Express to a Kentucky taxidermist for mounting, according to court documents. Gentry received the mounted hide in April and transported it to Tennessee, the documents say.
Greenly, who charges individuals $750 per guided hunt, was charged with two additional violations of the Lacey Act.
Karen Bailey, spokeswoman for the U.S Attorney, District of Minnesota, would not say what provoked the investigation or why it took so long for the matter to come to light. "We can't comment on investigations," she said.
Montgomery Gentry has sold about 4 millions records, including their 2005 greatest hits collection, "Something to be Proud of: Best of 1999-2005." Their hits have included "Hillbilly Shoes", "If You Ever Stop Loving Me" and "Something to be Proud of."
The duo is scheduled to release its fifth studio album, Some People Change, on Oct. 24. It is too soon to tell how news of this indictment could affect the duo, said Wade Jessen, director of country charts for Billboard and country editor for Radio & Records.
"It can't be the same thing as saying you are ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas," he said, referring to the statement from the Dixie Chicks that caused a national outrage. "Usually these things tend to get picked up by the national media somehow. If it does, then I think it is probably fair to speculate. At this point, I wouldn't dare say one way or the other. It could be a footnote on the evening news or the hot topic for the next six months."