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Credit: Photo courtesy of Disney home video

Deer poacher sentenced to watch Bambi during jail sentence

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Dec 17, 2018

“Let the punishment fit the crime” would be an understatement here.

Disney’s Bambi is beloved and hated all at the same time. It’s precious because it’s an all-time classic. It’s hated because it features one of the saddest deaths in cinema history. More often than not, when a TV show or movie wants to convey how sad something is, a reference to Bambi’s mother is at the ready. Who knew that someday Bambi wouldn’t just be used within entertainment, but within the criminal justice system as well?

That’s what happened in the case of David Berry, Jr. The 29-year-old Missouri man was part of a group that was using illegal hunting tactics to kill hundreds of deer since 2015. The group, which included his father and brother, were caught using illegal weapons and hunting out of season. In some instances, the group would just take the heads of the deer, leaving the carcasses to rot.

“This was not hunting, this was poaching. We’re talking in the hundreds of illegally killed deer over at least three years,” Missouri Department of Conservation Protection Division Chief Randy Doman told NBC News.  

Judge Robert E. Greene sentenced Berry, who pled guilty to taking wildlife illegally, to one year in the Lawrence County Jail. However, that wasn’t all. “At least one time per month, that Defendant is to view the Walt Disney movie, Bambi, with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least such viewing each month thereafter during the Defendants incarceration in the Lawrence County Jail,” said Green in his decision.

Greene’s additional order was not a joke. Apparently, it was to teach Berry a lesson. According to Doman: “They were so addicted to the kill, that they had [shown] such total disregard for the rules of [the chase]. They were stealing from the wildlife resources of the citizens of the state of Missouri, and this is the judge's way of putting some perspective."

If you are going to commit an extremely heinous crime, doesn't it fit that you should be forced to watch one occur repeatedly? Maybe it would knock some sense into you. So next time you are thinking about robbing that Build-a-Bear, be careful; you might end up having to watch Toy Story 3, with the movie shutting off just as they are about to fall into the furnace.

(via NBC News)

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