By Bill Lindelof
The North Highlands man convicted of shooting a sea lion in the Sacramento River was sentenced to jail this morning in Sutter County.
Larry Allen Legans was sentenced to 30 days in jail, five years of probation and ordered to pay restitution of $51,081 for injuring the sea lion that came to be known as Sgt. Nevis. (Photo left is of Sgt. Nevis after recent surgery.)
Legans is also barred from all hunting or fishing activities for the five years he will be on probation, according to a press release from the Sutter County District Attorney's office.
"I am pleased to have the criminal conviction in this case and very glad that the court imposed the large restitution amount for the care of the injured animal," said Sutter County District Attorney Carl Adams.
"Many individuals and agencies have gone to great lengths to capture and treat the injured animal and it's fair and just that the defendant bear that burden," Adams said.
Sgt. Nevis was shot in the face near the town of Verona in Sutter County in November and his injuries made it impossible for the sea lion to swim underwater.
He was named in honor of Sgt. Michael Nevis, the Yolo County Animal Control officer who assisted the Marine Mammal Center in capturing the injured animal on Dec. 5.
The nearly 700-pound sea lion underwent a two-hour operation last week.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom officials said the surgery was necessary to cover a craterlike wound under the sea lion's eyes. The wound prevented him from diving deep to forage and placed him at risk for infection.
Six Flags officials have said that the animal has become too accustomed to humans to be released into the wild. Sgt. Nevins will remain as one of the park's attractions.
Call The Bee's Bill Lindelof, (916) 321-1079.
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