Tim DeChristopher to finish sentence in SLC halfway house

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Environmental activist Tim DeChristopher will serve out the remainder of his two year prison sentence in a halfway house here.

He's scheduled to return to Utah on Oct. 24, where he will finish his sentence on federal convictions for making a false statement and running up bids during a 2008 auction of oil and gas leases near some of Utah's most scenic landmarks. DeChristopher (known during the auction as "Bidder 70") claims he did it to call attention to climate change.

"It'll be great to see him," said Rachel Carter of Peaceful Uprising, the group DeChristopher founded prior to going to prison.

DeChristopher dropped his appeals last week. His sentence will expire in April, and then he will serve three years of supervised release.

"We keep telling him that a halfway house is still confinement," said Pat Shea, DeChristopher's attorney. "He'll be free in the daytime to work, he has a great job with the Unitarian Church and in the evening he has to report back. He's still under lockup."

"Bidder 70" is currently incarcerated in a federal prison in Colorado. When he does return to Utah, Peaceful Uprising said it is not expected he will jump back into his activist role. Shea said DeChristopher will have to clear future activities with his parole officer.

"Tim says it often, he doesn't want to be made a hero. He doesn't want to be put up on a pedestal," Carter said. "Really, he wants people to join him in taking bold action to protect our liveable future."

DeChristopher does have plans when he is finally off probation, his attorney said. He will be applying to Harvard Divinity School to become a minister.

"He's applying and hopes to become some type of minister with a social activist agenda," he said.

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