4 Alabama Residents Face Numerous Illegal Hunting Charges
by Bryan Anderson
Marianna, FL -- October 26, 2011 --
William Tillery, Brandon Smith, Dustin Parker, and Lindsay Holloway are all waiting to make their first appearances in front of a Jackson County judge.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the group illegally killed eight deer and shot at others near the Alabama border in Jackson County.
"I think they knew what the law was. I believe they felt like they could come to Florida and not have to pay the piper," said F.W.C Spokesperson Stan Kirkland.
Investigators said in mid-September the four suspects started hunting near Sellar's Road and Highway Two, and they said the group made at least 11 different trips to the area before they finally busted them in a peanut field off Christmas Road on October 12th.
Officers said after they pulled the group over, they checked their car and found tarps, deboning tools, and other hunting material.
McCoy's Outdoors Manager Joey Peacock is one of several local hunters upset to hear what happened.
"You take away a lot of pleasure from a lot of other people because you can't go out and do it right like everybody else," said Peacock.
The group faces a total of 41 charges, some carrying the possibility of a hefty fine, even jail time. As of Wednesday, it was not clear when they were going to make their first appearances.
Three Alabama men and a woman face a multitude of charges for illegally shooting deer at night north of Marianna, in Jackson County.
William Cody Tillery (DOB 08/05/90), Brandon Leigh Smith (DOB 02/20/91) and Dustin Chase Parker (DOB 10/12/92), all from Dothan, Ala., and Lindsay Brooke Holloway (DOB 03/29/92) of Troy, Ala., are charged with killing eight deer and shooting at other deer in agricultural fields just south of the Florida-Alabama line. They were accompanied by three juveniles, also from Alabama.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers said the group began working an area of north Jackson County near Sellar’s Road and Highway 2, apparently back in mid-September. Officers said they received several complaints of night-hunting in the area.
On Oct. 12, FWC Officer Mike Guy and Cottondale Police Officer George Dodson, who was riding with Guy, stopped a car late at night on Christmas Road after seeing the occupants shine a peanut field with their headlights. Inside the car, officers found firearms and deboning kits, and the trunk was lined with plastic. Smith, Tillery and Holloway were inside the car.
Smith and Tillery allegedly admitted they had been night hunting.
“They said they had been watching ‘Monster Buck’ videos and wanted to go kill a big deer,” Guy said.
Alabama Department of Conservation law enforcement officers assisted in the investigation. Guy said their help was invaluable in locating and interviewing others that were involved, including Parker, and the recovery of processed deer meat and antlers. Additionally, a .30-30 hunting rifle and a crossbow were seized as evidence.
In addition to illegal night-hunting charges, Guy said Smith and Parker face charges for shooting from a Florida roadway and criminal mischief for driving across and damaging peanuts that were in the process of being harvested.
Information about violations of Florida fish and wildlife laws can be reported to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). People can also send a text message to Tip@MyFWC.com or file an online report at MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert. People with tips may remain anonymous and collect a reward if an arrest is made based on their information.
First appearance for the defendants in this case will be scheduled by the Jackson County Clerk of the Court.
Charges filed against the four are as follows:
Brandon Leigh Smith
§ Taking deer illegally – 11 counts
§ Taking wildlife from a roadway – three counts
§ Criminal mischief – one count
Dustin Chase Parker
§ Taking deer illegally – nine counts
§ Taking wildlife from a roadway – four counts
§ Criminal mischief – one count
William Cody Tillery
§ Taking deer illegally – eight counts
Lindsay Brooke Holloway
§ Taking deer illegally – four counts.
Additional charges are pending against the suspects.