Punta Gorda Florida:75 year- old Juanita Schultz was found guilty by the Charlotte County circuit court jury of harming the nest of a Loggerhead sea turtle. This type of species is protected by the endangered species act. According to the law, what Schultz did is a third-degree felony has a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. This woman Schultz has no previous criminal record and it was implied by the assistant to the state attorney, Martina Hedvicek, that it is most likely that she will not receive any prison time and just face fines and community work. Schultz was seen removing the marking stakes, kicking the nest and putting a lawn chair on top of it. Volunteers are licensed by the state to mark nests on private land. It is illegal to tamper with sea turtle nests because they are a threatened species under the federal Endangered Species Act.
If this woman had no compassion for the turtles the court should not grant her compassion due to her age. The felony conviction by a jury could bring up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, although the sentence is not likely to be that severe.
We, the undersigned, plea that justice be served and this woman be set as an example for her lack of common sense and empathy towards a protected species of wildlife. If the court grants her just community work, it could prompt other people to temper with the delicate species of the Loggerhead sea turtles. Juanita Schultz should serve time in jail for her actions.