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August 15, 1997     Cape Gazette
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August 15, 1997

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Bald eagle Continued from page 1 key witness in the case. Jones and her son went into hid- ing on Wednesday, Aug. 6, after learning Tuesday, Aug. 5 that U.S. District Court Judge Mary Pat Trostle had lifted a no-contact order against Sipple, and she, Jones, would have to return her son "Jake" to the physical custody of his lather. Jones said she was concerned that Jake's father would harm him; Jake shared her fears. When he and his mother arrived at the location for the Cape Gazette in- terview, Jake, clutching a box of fast food, looked around the room and asked his mother if his father could find them there. Only after she told him he would not did Jake sit down to eat his dinner. "Priscilla influenced Jake's statement," said Sipple during a Thursday, Aug. 14 telephone in- terview. "The courts would never have given Jake back to me," he said, if her allegations that he was an abusive parent were true. Jones said she was not only afraid of Jake's father trying to in- fluence Jake's testimony in the tri- al set for either Oct. 8 to 10 or Oct. 27 to 30, but she also worried that Jake could suffer physical harm. The weapons in the household particularly alarmed her, she said. Jones and Jake said Sipple keeps the foUowing weapons in his home: shotgun, 357 magnum handgun, rifle, a pistol and a re- volver. Sipple denied there are weapons in his home. "That's ridiculous," he said. "There is none." In the order setting the conditions of his release, dated July 30, 1997, Sip- ple was released on personal rec- ognizance and ordered "to refrain from possessing a firearm, de- structive device or other danger- ous weapon." Jake said he wasn't worried that his dad would do any serious harm to him, but he was con- cerned about his dog. "Probably he might hurt the dog, but he won't kill it," said Jake. "He's kicked it before, like he does me - he hits me and kicks him. "I'm afraid that he might do something to me," said Jake, who weighs approximately 165 pounds. "He might hit me or yell at me." His father, he said, has hit him before. "He knocked me right off the chair. I fell on the floor." Search yields evidence Sipple was arraigned in U.S. District Court on July 25, follow- ing a search and seizure of his property and nearby property owned by his father, Edward. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) agents obtained suffi- cient evidence to seek an arraign- ment later that day. The properties are located southwest of Georgetown, be- tween Trap Pond and Parker roads, west of Bull Pine Corners. According to Jones, her son tes- tified against his lather during the arraignment proceedings. Rick Giovengo, special agent with the USFWS, confirmed that Jake is a witness in the case but said having a child involved in a case is very unusual. Giovengo said even if Jones does not return Jake to Delaware in time for the trial, the trial will still be held. "We still have a case against Mr. Sipple - absolutely," said Giovengo. Items collected in the search of the farm, according to government records, included three face masks from the kitchen counter; one syrup bottle and one spray bottle from a shelf inside a shed attached to the house; one Dunkin' Donuts bucket from the floor of the shed; one Ziploc bag with powder from the shelf in the shed; one dirty face mask from near the dog train- ing area; granules from the pas- senger side floor mat of a 4x4 Chevy pickup; right hand and left hand gloves from the driver side door panel storage area of the truck; and unidentified meat scraps from the same location in the truck. The items seized from Sipple's father's residence were floor, sill and workshop sweepings from the garage shop, a "meatball with wrapping from a corner in the garage and coffee can contents from a shed. Giovengo said he could not re- lease information pertaining to lab results from those items collected in the search and seizure of both the farm on which Sipple lives and his father's nearby property. "I can't comment on any of that, because I don't know about that," said Sipple. "I have nothingto say until the thing is resolved." Sipple's father refused to com- ment on the case. Jake said that during his father's arraignment, he told the court "that he [Doug Sipple] poisoned a lot of animals because I've gone with him." Sipple tangled before The case is not Sipple's first time tangling with fish and wildlife law violations. In 1994, he was ticket- ed for trap- ping without a valid li- cense, at- tempting to kill or possess wild birds, using a leg- hold trap in a prohibited Bald eagle area and pos- sessing a prohibited hunting de- vice. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife report dated Dec. 14, 1994, two agents were alerted by Priscilla Jones that Sipple was trapping red tail hawks. "She stat- ed that when her son came home from staying with her ex-husband, the child had a dead hawk, which the RP [reporting person] threw away. She also stated that she knew that it was illegal and that she did not want her child exposed to unethical hunting practices," stated a report by the arresting agent. Another agent's report stated, "We found five illegally set leg- hold traps. We also found a trap on top of a 25 foot, 4 inch by 4 inch wooden pole. This device was being used to trap wild birds. We seized traps and knocked over 4 inch by 4 inch pole. We also found several skunk carcasses..." The report indicated that the agents interviewed Sipple, who "stated that he did not know what he was doing was illegal. He also stated that he had a dog training area and was only protecting his investment." Sipple was fined $232.80 for the violations. Nature's balance skewed Priscilla Jones said Sipple trains beagles to hunt rabbits, and Jake said the reason his father gave him for putting out poison was to keep predators away from the rabbits. Giovengo explained that an abundance of rabbits in a relative- ly small area upsets nature's bal- ance, and one result is an increase in the number of predatory ani- mals in an area. Animal deaths in the federal government's investigation of the area near Sipple's residence not only included the eagle, but also a red-tailed hawk, turkey vultures, cats and dogs. "Personal pets got killed on this [poison]," said Giovengo. "We don't know the total num- ber," said Giovengo. "It's power- ful stuff." He said the poison, car- bofuran (Furadan), is a granular- CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, August 15 - August 21, 1997 - 20 like product similar to sand. "It is dermally toxic," he said. "It can soak through your skin." It causes a body's brain to shut down, he said, so the animal dies from suf- focation. "It's a very agonizing death," said Giovengo. The poison is so toxic, he said, that one sand-sized grain of the product can kill a bird. "Generally, you have a ring of death," he said. The ring, he said, includes the predators, and most - like the eagle - are carrion feeders who usually first attack a stomach, where the poison would be most concentrated. Issues become clouded Through an interview with a Dover psychiatrist - Mark Borer, M.D. - Giovengo learned "this kid is pretty much solid on," said the agent, adding that Borer said, "He definitely wouldn't fabricate this kind of story." Giovengo was ordered to inter- view Jake before the hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 5, before Judge Mary Pat Trostle. "I asked how he felt about going back to his fa- ther, and he said he was scared," said Giovengo. Giovengo relayed the informa- tion to the court and asked the court to maintain the no-contact order in an effort to prevent any witness tampering. "We feel until there's a trial that there should be a no-contact order issued," he said. During the arraignment, the judge reluctantly granted the order pending the Aug. 5 hearing, he said. During that hearing the defense claimed the "wife is manipulating the government in a vicious way to get custody of the child," said Giovengo. In apparent agreement with the defense's motion, Trostle lifted the order but on condition that Sipple would not discuss the case with Jake. Lifting that order meant that al- though the parents have joint cus- tody of Jake, his physical place- ment would revert to the Family Continued on page 21 NEW KITCHENS Quality Design & Installation For Kitchens & Baths :'g  , FINANCING AVAILABLE 2s YEARS 644 9006 EXPERIENCE --" "-- ---- RT24JUSTOFF RT 1 AT FAMILY DOLLARMALL Gays And Religion (Events Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalists of S. DE) Town Meeting Sat. Aug. 16th, 4-6 pm At the MCC church on Glade Rd (Rd 271) in Rehoboth. Public Worship Service Sun., Aug. 17th, 10:30 am At The Boys and Girls Club, 105 N.E. Front St., Milford, DE Rev. Meg Riley will speak: "Religious Responses To The Radical Right" Rev. Meg Riley will speak: "To Love With All My Intelligence" Group Discussions will by lead by Meg and: PFLAG President Meredith Hunter *Meg Riley is the director of the Washing ton Office For Faith In Action (a Unitarian Universalist organization) Diamond Edge Foundation President Judith Armstrong Both events will be followed by coffee, refreshments, and informal discussion. Metropolitan Community Church Pastor David Patterson For more information call Hope at 856-7674