Following less than two hours of deliberation, four Missouri hunters were declared “not guilty” by a Wyoming court in a “corner crossing" case that garnered national attention.
Corner crossing involves stepping from one parcel of public land to another where the corners touch, when the other four corners are made up of private property. According to Wyofile, "The hunters’ attorneys said Carbon County Prosecutor Ashley Mayfield Davis never produced evidence the four had touched the private land of Fred Eshelman’s Elk Mountain Ranch."
The prosecutions argument hinged on the fact that private land ownership extends tot he airspace above property. Ms. Davis told the jury in her closing arguments, "The law is you own the airspace. Land ownership is not just the dirt, it’s the airspace above."
In the end, the jury sided with the defense, but the story isnt over yet. A civil suit still hangs in the balance, with Iron Bar Holdings (the holders of Elk Mountain Ranch) arguing that the men committed a civil trespass, and seeking damage reparations.
For more in-depth reporting on the case, check out the story on wyofile.com.