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Yosemite Jumpers Plead No Contest

December 14, 1999

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) _ Four parachutists pleaded no contest Monday to charges stemming from their participation in illegal jumps off El Capitan during a demonstration that left one jumper dead.

The fifth member of their crew, 60-year-old Jan Davis, died during the Oct. 22 demonstration when her chute failed to open. She and the others had jumped to protest the park’s rules, which make the extreme sport of BASE jumping illegal at Yosemite.

Mick Knutson, Henry Boger and Joseph Weber pleaded no contest to the charge of illegal air delivery. Avery Badenhop pleaded no contest to aiding and abetting the others. Each agreed to accept a sentence of one year of probation and a $2,000 fine. The four will share the $6,155 cost of recovering Davis’ body.

BASE jumping, which the National Park Service said resulted in six deaths and several injuries over the past 20 years, remains illegal at Yosemite. The BASE acronym stands for buildings, antennas, spans and earth: the various things from which parachutists leap.

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