Charges filed against teens in deer torture video that went viral

Charges filed against 2 teens accused of torturing a deer on camera

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. — Officials with the Pennsylvania Game Commission said charges were filed against two Brookville, Pa. teens recorded in a viral video posted to social media show them abusing an injured deer.

The Game Commission said Alexander Brock Smith, 18, and a 17-year-old teen boy are the one charged. Each faces two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated animal cruelty among other charges.

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The video, posted Nov. 30, was viewed tens of thousands of times worldwide before the Game Commission launched an investigation.

The video was posted on Snapchat on the opening day of rifle season in Pennsylvania. The Game Commission said the teens kicked a deer in the face after it had been shot.

The agency said both Smith and the other teen were interviewed and confirmed they were hunting in an enclosed tree stand on property owned by Smith’s family in Jefferson County. The juvenile shot and wounded a buck. The animal couldn’t move due to the injury and that’s when the video of the abuse was taken and uploaded.

Game Commission officials told Channel 11, regarding the investigation and charges: “Hunters are taught at an early age to hunt ethically, to be respectful of the game they hunt, the property upon which they hunt and other hunters.”

Smith was arraigned and released on $50,000 bail. The Brookville Chief of Police previously said that Smith is his stepson and that he was sickened when he saw the video. Smith faces four felony charges among other misdemeanors. If given the maximum penalty, he could spend more than 40 years in prison and owe tens of thousands of dollars in fines.

The case involving the teen will be sent to juvenile court. The Game Commission said they do not release the names of minors who are charged.

Investigators said even though there was video evidence of the acts, they had to make sure that it occurred in Pennsylvania where the Game Commission has the authority to file charges and collect evidence.

The Jefferson County District Attorney sent out a statement about the timetable for the charges.

Obviously, this case has generated a large amount of public outcry. 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.
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