Byline: George Barnes
GARDNER - The lawyer for a father and son accused of illegally killing a bear said yesterday he believes his clients will be cleared.
"They're looking forward to being heard in court," Peter Merrigan of Boston said. "They are confident that through the legal process they are going to be exonerated."
The two men were arraigned in district court yesterday on charges related to the shooting of the bear in Royalston in September.
In a brief court hearing before Judge Arthur F. Haley III, Mark Burdzy Jr., 29, of Orange, a correction officer, was arraigned on charges of illegally hunting a bear with a dog or by baiting, altering/forging a license, unlawfully killing and possessing a bear, conspiring to provide false information during an investigation and witness intimidation.
His father, Mark Burdzy Sr., 52, of Royalston was arraigned on the same charges, except for altering/forging a license. Mr. Burdzy Sr. was also arraigned on charges of improper storage of a semiautomatic pistol, improper storage of a rifle and improper storage of a shotgun. The charges stem from a search of his home in January.
Both men entered pleas of not guilty.
Mr. Burdzy Jr. is also facing charges connected with the search of the home in January. He is scheduled for arraignment March 9 in Orange District Court on charges of possession of a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, three counts of improper storage of a rifle or shotgun near a minor and two counts of improper storage of a large capacity firearm near a minor.
A 6-year-old child was living at his home when the unsecured weapons were found.
The charges resulted from an extensive investigation into the death of a bear Mr. Burdzy Jr. claimed to have legally shot Sept. 13 while he was hunting in woods off Falls Road in Royalston. Environmental Police Sgt. Anthony Wolski and Officer Mark Brighenti...