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English Sentenced in Murder-for-Hire Plot Against DNR Rangers

August 12, 2005

A Lamar County judge recently sentenced John Mack English to 13 years in prison, the maximum sentence allowed, for conspiring to arrange the murders of two former conservation rangers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).

English, 28, of Barnesville, received five years each on two counts of solicitation of murder and three years on one count of solicitation to conceal the death of another. The judge ran the sentences consecutively and sentenced English as a repeat offender, which means he will serve the full 13 years in prison. English has three prior felony convictions with two of those convictions tied to the murder plots.

We are pleased with the outcome of this case and glad to hear that the judge handed down the maximum sentence allowed for the crimes English committed, said WRD Col. Terry West. Conservation rangers often work alone and in isolated areas which puts them in potentially dangerous situations on a regular basis, but this case has been extremely disturbing for our officers.

English was apprehended in May 2004 while burglarizing a WRD facility at the West Point Wildlife Management Area following an investigation initiated when law enforcement officials received a tip about the robbery and the plot to kill the two conservation rangers.

Also arrested in conjunction with the break-in was Michael Brett Self, 24, of Thomaston. Self was charged in Troup County with two counts of burglary, possession of tools used in the commission of a crime and obstruction of a police officer after he attempted to flee on foot.

In 2003, DNR conservation rangers issued English six citations in three separate instances for charges including hunting waterfowl over bait, hunting from a motor vehicle, hunting from a public road and hunting deer at night with the aid of a light. In addition, English was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Self was issued one citation by DNR conservation rangers in 2003 for hunting ducks over bait.



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