LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – Charges have been filed against three Georgia men after Arkansas Game and Fish Commission wildlife officers investigated a video circulated on Facebook showing a deer being beaten with a textbook. An Arkansas woman received a warning for her involvement.
The investigation began after AGFC officers were contacted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources on Jan. 28. The investigation revealed that the video was made in Arkansas and showed Joshua Rewis, 20, of Villa Rica, Georgia striking a deer with a heavy textbook in the back of a vehicle. Rewis told officers that the deer was struck on U.S. Highway 165 near Stuttgart. Rewis said that he, Cody Jones, 25, of Carrollton, Georgia and Travis Strickland, 25, of Winston, Georgia, were traveling in a car driven by Johnna Sigler, 19, of Stuttgart, when the deer was hit.
After striking the deer, the group pulled over and the three men loaded the live deer into the vehicle. Rewis told officers that he planned to tag the deer and clean it. Rewis never contacted the AGFC about the deer so that it could be put down humanely retained the deer as game. The group also did not contact the Arkansas County Sherriff’s Office to report the accident.
As the group was driving down the road, the deer became active in the vehicle. That is when Rewis began striking the deer with the book. After the deer began crying out, the group pulled over and the men dragged the deer to a ditch along the highway and left it.
Rewis has been charged with a misdemeanor offense of cruelty to animals. The bond on that charge is $1,140. He’s also charged with wasting wildlife. That charge has a $2,640 bond. Jones and Strickland have been charged with criminal aiding and abetting with a bond of $370 each. Sigler was issued a warning citation for aiding and abetting.
Col. Todd Callaway, AGFC Chief of Enforcement, applauded the agency’s wildlife officers for their hard work. “These officers did an excellent job on this high profile case. They turned this investigation around in about a week and now these individuals have to pay the consequences of this horrendous incident,” Callaway said.