From the Charleston Daily Mail:
Note: Let me guess… The “injured animal” was an 8-point buck. Undoubtedly, these officers were only charged because there were credible eyewitnesses that watched them do it. If neighbors witnessed it, how far away were their homes? Shouldn’t the officers be charged with discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a residence? (if in fact that was the case) Joe Blow probably would have been charged with all sorts of firearm related felonies. – John H. Bryan, West Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney.
Police officers accused of spotlighting deer
Two Charleston police officers are set to go to trial in Putnam County on charges they shot a deer from inside their vehicle.
Patrolman Conrad M. Carpenter and Cpl. James E. White Jr. are charged with spotlighting, hunting from an automobile, shooting within 500 feet of a dwelling, possession of wildlife parts and conspiracy.
According to a criminal complaint, White and Carpenter were driving on W.Va. 34 near Liberty to visit a friend on Dec. 5 when they spotted three deer crossing the road. One of the deer appeared to be injured, the officers told Cpl. Gary Amick, a conservation officer with the state Division of Natural Resources.
According to Amick’s complaint, Carpenter told White to stop the car so he could shoot the injured animal. White allegedly shone a light on the deer so that Carpenter could hang out the window and shoot it with a .40-caliber handgun, Amick said.
“The defendant and Mr. White did not want the deer to ‘go to waste,’ so they decided to wait around in the area for a few minutes to allow the deer to die, then they would come back and pick up the deer,” Amick wrote in the complaint.
White and Carpenter apparently took the deer with them, but neighbors witnessed the shooting and reported the incident to Amick the next day.
Neighbors took down the license number of the car, which was traced to White, the report said.
The trial, which will be in Putnam County Magistrate Court, was set following a preliminary hearing last week.
Carpenter and White have been on administrative leave since the incident, said Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster.