page contents Ohio siblings face felony charges after 250-year-old walnut tree is chopped down – The News Headline

Ohio siblings face felony charges after 250-year-old walnut tree is chopped down

Two Ohio siblings have been charged with prison robbery once they organized to chop down a tree estimated to be over 250 years outdated that was once positioned on town belongings, officers mentioned Friday.

An illegally felled black walnut tree estimated to be over two centuries outdated.Cleveland Metroparks PD

Todd Jones, 56, and Laurel Hoffman, 54 allegedly illegally felled the centuries outdated black walnut within the Cleveland suburb of Strongsville on Sept. 2021 as a way to promote it for lumber, in step with a file from Cleveland Metroparks Police.

Jones’ and Hoffman’s sweetheart’s mother, Debra Jones, lives in the home close to the place the tree was once chopped down, on the border of Mill Move Run Reservation, the place an adjoining belongings was once just lately received by means of Cleveland Metroparks.

Debra Jones is the widow of the siblings’ father, Robert A. Jones, and was once now not charged with a criminal offense.

In remarks to police, Jones to start with denied having anything else to do with the tree’s destruction, and mentioned his sister will have been responsible.

Jones reportedly was “defensive” after an officer instructed him that their information indicated that his sweetheart’s mother had already proven them the tree stump and admitted that he and his sister had organized to have it logged and offered for lumber.

The circle of relatives mentioned they believed the tree was once positioned on their belongings, however charging paperwork mentioned a police investigation discovered that the middle of the stump of the Five.Five-foot-wide tree was once 7.Five toes out of doors in their belongings.

Additional investigation discovered the tree was once price $28,814.74, and its alternative would value $102,909.77.

Hoffman and Jones have been charged on Dec. 29 with one rely each and every of robbery by means of deception and falsification, in step with court docket paperwork.

Hoffman, in remarks to Cleveland.com, mentioned, “It’s ours. I simply don’t perceive any of this.”

“That is so ridiculous that they’re doing this,” Jones instructed the inside track web page. “That is insane. There was once no sick intent.”

The tree was once positioned within the nature maintain and its trunk was once just about six toes in diameter, making it one of the most oldest within the Buckeye State, in accordance Metroparks spokesperson Jacqueline Gerling.

“We suspect the tree was once perhaps over 250 years outdated. Given our city atmosphere and the threats to wholesome tree expansion, it is vitally unusual to discover a black walnut of this measurement,” Gerling wrote in an e-mail to NBC Information.

Todd Jones and Laurel Hoffman allegedly felled the black walnut tree in Sept. 2021.Cleveland Metroparks PD

Cleveland Metroparks Police Division oversees greater than 24,000 acres of land — together with the reserve adjoining to the Jones house.

The U.S. Division of Agriculture says black walnut timber are “one of the most scarcest and maximum coveted local hardwoods” and feature been closely logged.

Hoffman’s lawyer, Christina Brueck, didn’t in an instant reply to a NBC Information request for remark. Jones didn’t in an instant reply to a request for remark.

The siblings are because of be arraigned in court docket Jan. 20.

In July, a California couple confronted an $18,000 fantastic for destroying 36 Joshua Bushes, secure as a candidate for the California Endangered Species Act.

Previous remaining yr, an Arkansas guy pleaded responsible to felling 27 timber in Mark Twain Nationwide Wooded area.

An NBC Information investigation in July discovered that the sector’s biggest house furnishing store, Ikea, is prone to have offered kids’s furnishings manufactured from illegally-logged Russian pine.

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