UPDATE: Hunters Who Tortured Deer Receive Slap on the Wrist
We first shared the shocking cruelty committed by two young men Alexander Smith, 18, and Cody Hetrick, 17, back in December of last year when we created an alert asking for justice for the victim. These two Pennsylvania hunters filmed themselves laughing, kicking, punching and tearing an antler off of a terrified, wounded deer they had just shot. The video of the incident made the rounds on social media and will make you sick to your stomach to watch, so be warned if you watch that it contains graphic scenes of animal cruelty.
More than 13,000 In Defense of Animals supporters signed our alert asking that these two hunters be arrested and charged for their horrific acts of animal cruelty. Finally, after two months of public pressure, they were both arrested and charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty.
We were hopeful they would pay for their crime and the poor deer they tortured would see justice served. Unfortunately, that wasn't the outcome.
Jefferson County District Attorney, Jeff Burkett, decided the torture committed against the defenseless and dying deer wasn’t worthy of felony charges and dropped them - allowing the hunters to plead guilty to much lesser misdemeanors. Alexander Smith avoided jail time and was instead sentenced to just two years probation and 200 hours of community service. He also lost his hunting privileges for only 15 years, when clearly the crime warranted a lifetime ban.
We don't know the outcome of the case against Cody Hetrick because he was charged as a minor and the case records are not made public, but it's safe to assume he also got off with a slap on the wrist.
We are completely disgusted with this outcome and the lack of justice served. But we cannot let it stop us seeking justice for other animals. Please honor the memory of this abused deer by taking action for other wild animals: www.idausa.org/savewildanimals