Deer Poacher Is Ordered to Repeatedly Watch Bambi in Missouri Jail
A Missouri judge has ordered a convicted animal poacher to repeatedly watch the Disney movie Bambi as part of his sentence for illegally killing hundreds of deer.
David Berry Jr. pleaded guilty on December 6 to charges of taking wildlife illegally. He received a one-year jail sentence. He also received a 120-day sentence in a neighboring county for felony firearms probation violation.
“The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste,” Lawrence County Prosecuting Attorney Don Trotter said in court, according to the Springfield News Leader.
Judge Robert George filed an order in the case against Berry. The order, viewed by PEOPLE, includes a special addition to the jail time. “Defendant is 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, during Defendants incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail,” George wrote.
In the 1942 film, Bambi is orphaned when his mother is shot and killed by a hunter.
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Berry was not the only defendant in the multi-year poaching investigation. According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, the investigation has tied 14 Missouri residents to over 230 criminal charges that occurred in 11 Missouri counties. Three of the defendants are relatives of Berry. According to the News Leader, they have paid $51,000 in fines and court costs.
“It is unknown how many deer the main group of suspects has taken illegally over the past several years,” Lawrence County Conservation Agent Andy Barnes said, according to the Associated Press. “It would be safe to say that several hundred deer were taken illegally.”
Fox 8 News reports that Berry will watch the movie at least 12 times during his incarceration.
People observing wildlife violations can report them through the Operation Game Thief Hotline, 1-800-392-1111 or call the local conservation agent.
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