WARREN — Two men accused of using a bow and arrow to slay a deer in a Warren neighborhood in December have been sentenced to probation and fines after previously agreeing to plea deals under a reduced charge in the case.
William Francis, 27, of Riverview, and Myles Ehret, 19, of Royal Oak, were ordered to pay $1,300 and $800 in fines, respectively, when they went before Judge Dean Ausilio for sentencing April 12.
The judge also put them on probation for a year, barred them from hunting for one year, and ordered them to do 50 hours of community service.
Francis and Ehret were charged in December with killing/torturing an animal, a five-year felony. But last month, Francis pleaded guilty and Ehret pleaded no contest to a one-year misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.
As part of the plea agreement, Francis told the court that he killed a deer with a bow and arrow in a wooded area of a neighborhood near 14 Mile and Van Dyke.
Warren police arrested both men Dec. 21 near the U-Haul rental store at 13 Mile Road and Ryan as they apparently tried to return a pick-up truck used to transport their kill.
Police were tipped off to the killing of a five-point buck by residents near Jenny and Knapp, south of 14 Mile and east of Van Dyke, who reported seeing men dragging an animal out of the woods on a sled and loading it into a truck.
Officers who stopped Francis and Ehret noted dried blood on their hands and clothing, and deer blood and hair in the rear of the rented truck. A check of their vehicle, a blue Subaru, left at the U-Haul location reportedly revealed hunting equipment, including a compound bow, a pop-up deer blind, corn used to bait deer and a propane heater.
Neighbors had reported seeing the blue Subaru parked on the street near the woods before the deer was killed.
City officials later said the deer was recovered from a home in Wayne County and donated as food to charity.
Defense attorney Michael Chupa did not return phone calls seeking comment on behalf of his clients last week.
Mayor Jim Fouts, who, in December, said he supported the maximum possible penalty for the men and that “probation is not satisfactory,” later ordered signage posted declaring the city’s ordinance that bans hunting in Warren.
The mayor also applauded the efforts of an 11-year-old boy who came forward with information after he saw men dragging a deer out of the woods near his home.