A Missouri man has been sentenced to one year in jail but with a caveat, he must watch Disney's animated film "Bambi" at least once a month during his sentence. You may be asking, does this punishment fit the crime? Well, let's go over the case that landed David Berry Jr. this bizarre sentence.
Berry was arrested in what conservation agents are calling one of the largest deer poaching cases in Missouri history, according to the Springfield News-Leader. Prosecuting attorney Don Trotter of Lawrence County said, "The deer were trophy bucks taken illegally, mostly at night, for their heads, leaving the bodies of the deer to waste."
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Prosecutors say Berry had the help of his father, two brothers, and another man in poaching hundreds of deer. All of them have had their hunting, fishing and trapping privileges revoked and the men have been ordered to pay a combined fine of $51,000 which includes court costs.
Court records reveal the judge who presided over the case added an unusual addition to Berry's one-year jail term for poaching, he must repeatedly watch "Bambi" during his prison sentence. Lawrence County Judge Robert George said Berry must "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."
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In addition to the 1-year in jail and the multiple viewings of Bambi, Berry was sentenced to 120 days in jail for a firearms probation violation in another county. Berry's father, David Berry Sr., and his brother, Kyle Berry, were arrested in August after a nine-month investigation into the hundreds of decapitated deer bodies. Investigators say Berry Sr.'s second son, Eric Berry, was also caught with another person spotlighting deer, a technique involving shining spotlights on deer at night to make them freeze. This makes them easier targets.
The investigation spanned several states including Kansas, Nebraska, and even Canada. It began in late 2015 when the conservation agency received an anonymous tip about deer being poached in Lawrence County. The Missouri Department of Conservation said the investigation resulted in 14 Missouri residents being arrested and facing over 230 charges in 11 counties.
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