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Animal-rights activist sent to federal prison in mink case

Published November 3, 2010 6:07 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2010, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The founder of an animal-rights group will spend 10 months in federal prison and serve 36 months of supervised release for refusing to testify about attacks on mink farms.

U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart handed down the sentence Wednesday to Jordan Halliday at the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City.

Halliday in July pleaded guilty to contempt of court for refusing to testify about attacking the mink farms. By refusing to testify, he did not comply with an order by U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell to go before a grand jury.

Halliday, the 23-year-old founder of the Animal Defense League of Salt Lake City, was indicted last year on the contempt charge, which stemmed from his appearances before a federal grand jury on March 4 and March 13 of 2009.

The panel was investigating the release of hundreds of minks at the McMullin farm in South Jordan in August 2008; the release of minks at the Lodder farm in Kaysville in September 2008; and an attempt to damage the operations of the Mathews mink farm in Hyrum in October 2008.

Prosecutors say Halliday either responded with "no comment" to most questions or invoked a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to other questions.

Two men, Alex Jason Hall and William James Viehl, were charged in the attacks at the McMullin and Mathews farms. They pleaded guilty to the mink release at the McMullin farm.

Hall was sentenced earlier this year to 21 months in prison and Viehl to 24 months.

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