Natalie Burns, 32, is scheduled to go to trial in August on charges of violating an emergency boundary closure and disorderly conduct in connection to a incident in February where a skier was rescued out of Granite Canyon during high avalanche danger. Each charge has possible penalties up to $5,000 fine and six months in jail. Jackson Hole News & Guide reports her two other codefendants have already pleaded guilty and one of them is awaiting a plea deal.
“To me that’s one of the most frustrating things I have experienced in society — people not owning up to things they have done wrong. I can’t reiterate enough how thankful I am that everyone is OK and how sorry I am. This lapse in judgment, though only a few seconds in duration, cost hours of time, thousands of dollars, and most importantly put the lives of multiple people in grievous danger,” Richards said. “I chose to duck a boundary and ski next to the rope line that borders Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Teton National Park. Absolutely never was it my intention to lead anyone under the rope, let alone Granite Canyon.”
Natalie Burns’ bench trial is set for Aug. 12th. at at the Clifford P. Hansen Federal Courthouse in Jackson. We will be sure to update this story as the news from the trial comes in.