Case Snapshot
Case ID: 18508
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: deer
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Sunday, Apr 3, 2011

County: Somerset

Charges: Misdemeanor
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: David Charrier

A Detroit man spent time in jail recently for putting an injured deer in his trunk, keeping it there for more than eight hours and then depositing it at a butcher's shop - barely alive.

At one point during the day the man showed the doe to his girlfriend. When it couldn't walk, he put it back in the trunk, District Attorney Evert Fowle said on Thursday.

"There are some crimes which have an explanation, and there are some crimes that have mitigating factors to them," Fowle said. "But this one is just disgusting."

David Charrier, 52, of River Road in Detroit recently spent 10 days in Somerset County Jail and will pay $1,500 in fines after he pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals, possessing a deer during a closed season and violating conditions of release.

On April 3, Charrier drove by a crash scene on Route 69 in Detroit. A vehicle had struck a deer, which lay in the road.

"There was a witness that was waiting for the wardens to come dispatch it because it seemed to be in great pain," Fowle said. "Charrier came and scooped up the deer and took it."

He kept the deer in his trunk during the day, Fowle said, and it was still alive eight hours later when he took it to a butcher in Detroit.

"It was a very unusual and disturbing case," Fowle said. "I've just never seen a case like that."

Warden Tom McKenney said he also has never dealt with a case like Charrier's.

"He didn't have a right to move the animal from the road, period," McKenney said. "Taking the deer is one thing, but any of us have the duty to humanely dispatch it, and it was kept alive all day."

During the day Charrier told several people he had a live deer in his trunk, McKenney said. He eventually brought it to the butcher shop and left it in the yard.

It surprised the owner when he arrived home to find the deer with broken legs and a broken back, McKenney said. The butcher contacted police, who told him to euthanize the doe. He then called the Maine Warden Service.

McKenney said the butcher asked to remain anonymous.

Charrier was sentenced in Somerset County District Court on Aug. 17 and released from jail on Aug. 25. The charges are misdemeanors, with a maximum jail time of 364 days.

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife cases typically garner three-day jail sentences, Fowle said.

"This had added cruelty implications, and I just did not see this being a typical three-day fish and game case. I thought this was a lot worse than that," he said.

Charrier's phone number appeared to be out of service on Thursday.

His prior criminal history includes convictions of assault and operating under the influence, according to documents at Somerset County Superior Court.


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