BOISE – Two Lewiston men have been sentenced for defacing ancient Native American pictographs at a shelter near Hell’s Gate State Park.
U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge sentenced Michael Bernal, 21, and Tyler Carlson, 23, on Wednesday for their roles in spray-painting a rock wall at the Red Elk Rock Shelter last February. The shelter’s red-pigmented tribal drawings are believed to be 2,500 years old and in a region traditionally occupied by ancestors of the Nez Perce tribe.
Bernal and Carlson were convicted of willful injury or depredation of federal property.
The pair and a third defendant, Jerad Bovencamp, hiked to the shelter and used cans of spray paint to deface rock art drawings depicting animal figures and geometric shapes.
Bernal was sentenced to 36 months in prison, while Carlson will serve four months in prison. They were each ordered to pay more than $33,000 in restitution to cover damages.
Bovencamp, 24, of Lewiston, was convicted of similar charges and is scheduled to be sentenced in June.
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