Kyle Aaron Stevens, 28, of Naples, was found guilty as charged by the Honorable Judge Michael Provost with Unlawful Taking of a Black Bear or Black Bear Parts, following a one-day trial in Collier County. This was a bench trial as the defendant gave up his right to a jury trial.
The defendant was immediately sentenced to 6 months of probation, a $500 fine, completion of a Hunter’s Safety Course, court costs and cost of prosecution. Adjudication was withheld.
The crime was reported on June 4, 2020. A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer responded to a call for service in a Naples residential neighborhood, near a wooded area. A neighbor reported that she believed a black bear that was regularly seen, had been killed. She reported a strong odor of a dead animal coming from the wooded area.
The FWC Officer conducted an investigation and found the dead bear, with numerous wounds from being shot with pellets. Further investigation led to the home of the defendant. Initially the defendant’s girlfriend claimed he was not home but he then emerged as the officer was still on scene and admitted to shooting the bear with a shotgun filled with birdshot pellets.
An FWC biologist then arrived on scene and conducted a field necropsy to determine the exact cause of death of the bear. The gun and ammunition was confiscated by the FWC Officer for evidence and Stevens was later arrested.
Assistant State Attorney Lawrence Raab prosecuted the case.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office