WV Civil Rights Lawyer

Police Misconduct, Civil Rights Law

Police Officers Charged With Spotlighting Deer

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.

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March 26, 2008 - Posted by | Police, Wildlife Violations

4 Comments »

  1. Personally, I think this is being blown way out of proportion. This sort of thing goes on every day, but because they are law enforcement it gets trumped up as much as possible. Sad. I’m not even convinced they were “hunting”, it seems plausible to me that their story is true. And are you really telling me that if a light is shone onto a deer before shooting it, that this is a extra charge? As opposed to what? Firing wilding at a shadow? Silly. And who would shoot a deer and then just leave it laying there? Not me. All and all I’d say this is bogus.

    Comment by Brian | March 30, 2008 | Reply

    • Well if you think it is silly then I will be over tonight after dark to hunt in your front yard!!!! I think it is great for people to take a deer that has been killed but only during hunting season and within the law!!!! If you hit one call the DNR or 911 and report it and they will tell you to take it…….But don’t kill one in my front yard within 100 feet of my front door!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Comment by Patricia Garnes | June 14, 2012 | Reply

  2. My self personally I think spotlighting is no different than running dogs. So I think that people should be able to turn it into a game just like regualr hunting!

    Comment by John | December 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. Lets get the facts correct. This did not happen on Route 34 and the deer was not limping before the officer’s shot it. How do I know? Because it happened in my front yard and We are the ones that called 911 to report deer spotlighting. The officers shot the deer and then under the cover of darkness 2 people got out (While the car drove on) and dragged the deer through my yard, through a creek and to the neighbors house where it was very dark so they could then load it in the trunk of the car. They fired a service gun at the deer that was between them and my house. The deer was 100 feet from my front door. Had they missed, they could have easily shot into my house…..There were 5 in the car not just the 2 officers. And this took place 1/2 mile off route 34. We testified at a hearing and I believe they both lost their jobs……..DNR officer Gary Amick agreed with us that they should be held to a higher standard because of who they were. He was very upset..

    Comment by Patricia Garnes | June 14, 2012 | Reply


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