BROOKVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) – Charges have been filed against two teens who were allegedly shown in a disturbing video abusing an injured deer.
The Jefferson County district attorney says there’s enough evidence for charges and that they have been filed against the teens. The Pennsylvania Game Commission has also filed charges.
The disturbing video, which has caused public outcry, surfaced on Nov. 30. The video shows two teens appearing to stomp on and kick an injured deer. They were also laughing and pulling at its antlers.
Court paperwork shows 18-year-old Alexander Smith, the step-son of Brookville Police Chief Vince Markle, is facing several charges, including two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated animal cruelty as well as a misdemeanor corruption of minors.
The other person involved, a 17-year-old whose identity the commission would not release, is also facing two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated animal cruelty.
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According to the Game Commission, the incident happened when the two were hunting together in a tree stand on property Smith’s family owns in Beaver Township, Jefferson County. The 17-year-old allegedly shot the deer, wounding it, then missed a follow-up shot.
The commission says they then took the video and sent it through Snapchat. One person saved the video to his phone and contacted the commission.
The public has since eagerly awaited charges, with the Pennsylvania Game Commission posting multiple updates asking patience and understanding during the investigation.
“It’s easy to understand why people were outraged by the incident,” Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners President Tim Layton said in a press release.
“But the worst-case scenario would have been rushing the investigation and heading into court with a case that wasn’t as strong as it could have been.”
The press release also quotes Jefferson County District Attorney Jeff Burkett as saying: “People have assumed that officers have been dragging their feet when, actually, the opposite is true. They have put a lot of hard work in on this case in order to present the case for prosecution. I commend the Pennsylvania Game Commission for their efforts in this matter.”
The commission says Smith was arraigned and released on $50,000 unsecured bail. The 17-year-old will now head to juvenile court.
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.