An American with a lengthy and bizarre rap sheet has been slapped with a $US750,000 bond by a Wyoming judge because he previously fled to Australia to avoid jail time.
Kenneth William Stone, 60, whose crimes include damaging a waterfall with a bomb and illegally killing a grizzly bear, was jailed again for allegedly causing a serious car crash.
A Wyoming court was told he had taken a sleeping pill and drank alcohol before crashing into another car on a road near Yellowstone National Park, injuring four other people.
A judge set the high bail amount, equivalent to $A972,000, because Mr Stone was deemed a flight risk, citing a previous escape to Australia in 1995.
“Flight risk and danger to the public are both of concern here,” Judge Bruce Waters of Wyoming’s Park County Circuit Court said, according to local paper Powell Tribune.
Deputy Park County prosecutor Jack Hatfield argued for an even higher bond and read to the court a note that Stone had written to a judge in 1995 before he made his Australia getaway.
“I had to leave on short notice to God knows where,” he wrote, adding that the 18-month jail sentence that awaited him was “just too much”.
The 1995 sentencing for destruction of federal property came after Stone and seven others pleaded guilty to using a bomb to destroy a waterfall in an Arizona national forest.
Stone, who was described as an avid outdoorsman and engineer, told the Los Angeles Times at the time that he blew up a ridge formation by the waterfall in order to save lives.
“I did it to save lives … to make it safer for the public to pass through there,” he explained to the newspaper.
Facing a year-and-a-half behind bars, Stone decided to run away.
While authorities initially speculated he might have fled to Canada, the fugitive was actually in Sydney.
The then-34-year-old had used the driver’s licence and Social Security card belonging to a friend in order to assume the identity of Gene Allan Carpenter.
Using a passport in that name and with an estimated $Us300,000 ($A390,000) stashed away, Stone entered Australia and found a job working for a river-rafting company, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Australian Federal Police officers finally caught him in April 1996, and he was extradited back to the US, leading the newspaper to declare in a headline: “Jig is up for wilderness bomber”.
Stone was released from jail in 2002 after serving time for the bombing and escape. He stayed on the straight and narrow for the next 15 years before he was arrested again, this time for illegally shooting a grizzly bear.
A court found he had violated the Endangered Species Act when he shot the giant predator and sentenced him to probation in January 2018.
Additionally, he was convicted for being in possession of a firearm despite being a felon, according to the US Department of Justice.
The car crash for which he is currently accused happened in October last year, eight months after he completed his bear-killing sentence.
According to the Powell Tribune newspaper, the court was told Stone swerved onto the wrong lane heading west on a highway and smashed into an oncoming car.
A family of four were all injured, with one woman suffering two broken vertebrae in her neck, one in her back and a fractured sternum.
A Wyoming Highway Patrol officer who investigated the incident told the court he found 18 aliases and nine different dates of birth linked to Stone’s Social Security number, the Powell Tribune reported.
The fake names included his Sydney alias, Gene Allan Carpenter, as well as the names Robert Renato Aalders, Wayne Anderson, Barry John Gamble, Collin Jeen Oostenrijk, Warren Curtis Reed and Robert John Tattley.
At the time of his 1995 sentencing, Stone was known in the media as “Taz” Stoner, a nickname he received because he approached “football, skydiving, rodeo, life and food with the fierce appetite of a Tasmanian devil”, the Los Angeles Times reported.