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Country star accused of illegally killing tame bear

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Authorities say Troy Lee Gentry, of country duo Montgomery Gentry, illegally killed a tame black bear.

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Troy Lee Gentry
Natural resources

DULUTH, Minnesota (AP) -- Troy Lee Gentry, of the country singing duo Montgomery Gentry, has been accused of killing a tame black bear that federal officials say he tagged as killed in the wild.

Gentry, 39, of Franklin, Tennessee, and Lee Marvin Greenly, 46, of Sandstone, appeared Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Raymond Erickson in connection with a sealed indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Minneapolis.

Authorities allege that Gentry purchased the bear from Greenly, a wildlife photographer and hunting guide, then killed it with a bow and arrow in an enclosed pen on Greenly's property in October 2004.

The government alleges that Gentry and Greenly tagged the bear with a Minnesota hunting license and registered the animal with the state Department of Natural Resources as a wild kill.

Gentry allegedly paid about $4,650 for the bear, named Cubby. The bear's death was videotaped, and the tape later edited so Gentry appeared to shoot the animal in a "fair chase" hunting situation, the government alleges.

If convicted, both Gentry and Greenly face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $20,000 fine.

Gentry's manager, Johnny Dorris, said Wednesday that Gentry, an outdoorsman and hunter, expects to be exonerated.

Gentry "relied on the knowledge and expertise of a local guide to obtain the proper permit," Dorris said in a written statement. "Troy felt what he did was legal and in full compliance of the law and was surprised to hear of the indictment."

Greenly did not return a phone message seeking comment.

Montgomery Gentry, along with co-singer Eddie Montgomery, are known for hits such as "My Town" and "If You Ever Stop Loving Me."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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