Monday, 18 March, 2019

Poacher ordered by judge to watch Bambi once a month in jail

David Berry Jr. Image Lawrence County Sheriff's Office David Berry Jr. Image Lawrence County Sheriff's Office
Sandra Phillips | 18 December, 2018, 11:15

The Springfield News-Leader, in Missouri, USA, has the story this month of David Berry Jr, one in a family of four caught hunting trophy bucks without a license.

After pleading guilty, Berry Jr. was sentenced to one year in jail in Lawrence County on December 6, according to a news release.

"Most of the deer were trophy-class animals", the Missouri Department of Conversation said. There was some financial motivation in the carnage, but authorities said collecting the deer heads was mostly about ego.

"Conservation investigators estimated that the group was responsible for killing hundreds of deer over a three-year period", Lawrence County prosecuting attorney Don Trotter said in a statement.

Berry was not the only defendant in the multi-year poaching investigation.

Over almost nine years, David Berry and his two sons, David Berry Jr and Kyle Berry, killed the deer, mostly at night, then cut off their heads and antlers - leaving the bodies to rot where they fell.

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ABC News reported that court records show Lawrence County Judge Robert George ordered Berry to "view the Walt Disney movie 'Bambi, with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter".

Scene from the animated Walt Disney film, "Bambi".

David Berry Jr will be forced to see the animated movie at least once a month during his year-long jail term, the result of what law enforcement officials described as one of their "largest-ever poaching investigations".

Following the death of his mother, Bambi reunites with his father, the Great Prince of the Forest, a title Bambi later inherits. In total, the other co-conspirators faced a litany of charges and paid almost US$200,000 (NZ$293,000) in bonds and fines and served 33 days in jail, according to the department of conservation.

Toward the end of the film, hunters shoot Bambi as he flees, and he is later awakened by his father to a forest that is ablaze. In addition to the one year in jail, the man received an additional 120 days for felony firearms violation of his probation last week, which means that he earned himself another 4 viewings of Bambi.

All the Berrys had their hunting, fishing and trapping privileges revoked for life.

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