STUTTGART, Ark. (AP) — A Georgia man accused of beating a deer with an accounting textbook after it had been hit along an Arkansas highway has been charged with a misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals and wasting wildlife and set for a court appearance later this month.
A video shared on social media last month showed a man that authorities identified as Joshua Rewis, 20, of Villa Rica, Georgia, striking the deer in the head after he and others put it in the back of a vehicle, Arkansas game officials said. Others in the vehicle can be heard laughing.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said Thursday that Rewis and two other men later dragged the deer from the vehicle and left it in a ditch to die.
Two other Georgia men were charged with criminal aiding and abetting. A 19-year-old Stuttgart woman driving the car was given a warning citation for aiding and abetting.
The Arkansas County clerk's office said Friday that Rewis and the other men are scheduled for a Feb. 16 hearing. No lawyers were listed for the men in court records Friday afternoon and a telephone number for Rewis couldn't be found.
Arkansas game officials said Georgia authorities contacted them last week after the video surfaced. Initially, it wasn't known where the tape had been made but acquaintances of the men said they had been deer hunting in Arkansas.
"They turned this investigation around in about a week and now these individuals have to pay the consequences of this horrendous incident," Col. Todd Callaway, the enforcement chief for the commission, said in a statement Thursday.