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Charges coming in ancient rock-toppling stunt, Utah prosecutor says

Dave Hall via AP file

This frame grab from a video taken by Dave Hall shows two men cheering after a Boy Scouts leader knocked over an ancient Utah desert rock formation at Goblin Valley State Park. Authorities are mulling whether to press charges against the scout leader and against the two men who cheered him on after they posted video of the incident online.

A Utah prosecutor is set to file charges in the case of two Boy Scout leaders who toppled an ancient boulder from a Jurassic-era rock formation during a field trip to a state park last year — and recorded it.

Emery County Attorney David Blackwell said Thursday he expects to file the charges Friday or Monday but provided no other details. He received a report from the lead investigator on the case in December.

In Utah's Goblin Valley State Park, three men toppled a giant rock formation that's 170 million years old in just 14 seconds. NBC's Miguel Almaguer reports.

The two men, Glenn Taylor and Dave Hall, have already been removed as scout leaders for October's stunt. They have apologized and said they didn't think they were doing anything wrong.

"We did something right the wrong way," Taylor said at the time.

"We made a mistake and we need to own up to that," Hall said then.

A lawyer for Taylor had no immediate comment on the prospect of charges. A woman at Hall's home said he had no comment.

The pair got in hot water after they videotaped themselves singing, cheering and high-fiving about knocking the boulder, which was estimated to be about 170 million years old, off its perch.

"We have now modified Goblin Valley," Hall said in the footage.

Taylor and Hall, who were at Goblin Valley with eight Boy Scouts, later explained they believed the massive rock was a danger, since it could fall over on its own and crush a passerby. In the footage they congratulated each other on doing a good deed.

In retrospect, they admitted, they should have just alerted a park ranger to the possible danger.