Accused Gila monster killer pleads not guilty

Posted at 10:15 AM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 20:11:15-04

A woman accused of killing a Gila monster and bragging about it on social media pleaded not guilty of all charges Thursday.

Sarah Elisabeth Crabtree, 26, waived the reading of the charges. She requested an attorney be appointed to her, and the court assigned her attorney. Arizona Game and Fish cited Crabtree in March for killing the creature.

Gila monsters are a protected species, considered "near threatened" and killing one is considered a crime under state law.

She will appear in Animal Welfare Court at 1:30 p.m. June 16, facing the following counts:

  • Possession of restricted wildlife.
  • Taking of wildlife without a license.
  • Possession and transportation of unlawfully taken wildlife.
  • Taking of wildlife during closed season.
  • Taking of wildlife by unlawful method.

All crimes are second class misdemeanors punishable by six months in jail and $750 fine.