Man at center of wolf hunt controversy files motion to reopen case

The man at the center of Michigan’s wolf hunt controversy has decided to file a motion to reopen his case.

68-year-old John Koski of Bessemer was ordered to pay $1,867 in fines and costs at his sentencing last month. He was given 60 days to pay the amount in full or else face a charge of contempt of court. Koski’s attorney, Matthew Tingstad, asked for a delay of sentence, but that request was denied. Judge Mark Wisti said he had enough information in the report to immediately give a sentence.

“I’ve read this report here. I know something about animals, Mr. Tingstad. I spent a lot of time on a farm, and these hooves weren’t trimmed,” Judge Wisti said.

However, two weeks after the decision, on May 22nd, Koski filed a motion to withdraw his plea and vacate the sentence.

Judge Wisti will review the motion at a hearing tomorrow afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in Ontonagon County District Court. If he grants the request, Koski can change his plea to not guilty and ask for a jury trial. If the judge denies the motion, Koski’s fate will revert back to the original sentence.

Koski was initially charged with animal cruelty, but the charge was amended to failure to provide an animal with adequate care. The charge stems from the mistreatment of three donkeys that were given to Koski by the state to protect his farm from wolves.