Lake Tahoe man charged in bear shooting appears in El Dorado County Superior Court |

Lake Tahoe man charged in bear shooting appears in El Dorado County Superior Court

Sebastian Foltz
Gilbert Wetenkamp appeared in court Friday, Oct. 23, for a pre-trial conference. He has been charged with shooting a bear (pictured) that was found dead in a South Lake Tahoe neighborhood in July.
Courtesy / Toogee Sielsch |

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The man accused of illegally shooting a juvenile black bear in a South Lake Tahoe neighborhood last July appeared Friday, Oct. 23, before judge Daniel B. Proud in El Dorado County Superior Court for a pre-trial conference.

It’s alleged that Gilbert Wetenkamp, of South Lake Tahoe, shot a bear in or near the garage of his home on July 9; the bear was subsequently found at the base of a tree near Minniconjou Drive and Pioneer Trail, some distance from his home. The 75-year-old’s public defender requested a continuance from the court on grounds of discovery Friday. The motion was granted.

Wetencamp will next appear in court on Friday, Dec. 4, for the rescheduled pre-trial conference.

Following the proceeding Wetencamp and his attorney declined to comment, but his attorney did say they needed more information regarding the investigation in order to proceed.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife conducted the initial assessment of the incident before presenting it to the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.

Wetenkamp was arraigned on Sept. 25, charged with a misdemeanor for illegal taking of wildlife under the state’s fish and wildlife laws. He pleaded not guilty. Self-defense was cited in a previous news story when he was charged in August. If convicted, he faces up to $1,000 fine and one year in jail.

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