Students Charged In Tree Chopping

SEATTLE - Two University of Washington fraternity students who chopped down a 35-foot Western hemlock tree in Ravenna Dec. 1 were charged yesterday with third-degree malicious mischief by the King County Prosecutor's Office.

Christopher Sabella and Jay McPherson, both 18, could receive up to one year in jail if convicted. They are scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 6.

The Phi Delta Theta fraternity members allegedly drove to the area north of Ravenna Park where Northeast 63rd Street and 17th Avenue Northeast converge, according to court documents. They cut down the 26-year-old tree in an oversized traffic circle, tied it to the back of a Volvo and drove off. Police arrested them a few blocks away.