DA: Charges filed against 2 teens who appeared in viral deer torture video

Posted on January 10 2020

DA: Charges filed against 2 teens who appeared in viral deer torture video

UPDATE: According to the Pennsylvania Game Commission, 18-year-old Alexander Smith and the 17-year-old juvenile have been charged with two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and two felony counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated animal cruelty, as well as several other misdemeanor and summary counts.

Smith was arraigned Friday and released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

The game commission says the other teen's charges have been filed and will be sent to juvenile court.

“It’s easy to understand why people were outraged by the incident,” Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners President Tim Layton said. “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.

“Complicated investigations take time, and on behalf of the Board of Game Commissioners, I would like to commend the Game Commission, its Northwest Region Office and all of the game wardens who investigated the matter in cooperation with Pennsylvania State Police, local law-enforcement and the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office. It’s a difficult job, and you do it extremely well.”

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office has confirmed to 6 News that charges have been filed against two teens who were seen torturing a deer in a viral video that surfaced last month.

The District Attorney’s Office would not confirm the nature of the charges filed, but said charges have been filed against both teens.

During the course of the investigation, the game commission had previously said it was assisted by local and state police in reviewing all potential evidence related to the case.

The game commission was quick to condemn the video when it first surfaced, and officials said at the time they believed the conduct the video portrayed was a possible violation of the law.

Since then, the game commission has released little to no details related to the case.

Brookville police confirmed the two teens in the video are from Brookville but said the incident occurred outside their jurisdiction.

Brookville Police Chief Vince Markle identified one of the teens in the video as his 18-year-old stepson; however, authorities say no favoritism will be shown in the case.

An online petition calling for criminal charges against the teens has over 700,000 signatures.

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