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Man Who Filmed Shark Being Dragged To Death Sentenced To Just 10 Days In Jail

Man Who Filmed Shark Being Dragged To Death Sentenced To Just 10 Days In Jail

A man who was involved in the cruel killing of a shark by dragging it along behind a boat has been sentenced to 10 days in jail after taking a plea deal.

Thirty-year-old Robert Benac III from, Bradento in Florida, made the deal which means he will be able to serve his 10-day sentence on weekends. He was fined $2,500 and ordered to carry out 250 hours community service at an animal shelter.

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Robert Benac III. Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
Robert Benac III. Credit: Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Benac III, who is the son of Manattee County Commissioner, also had his fishing licence revoked for three years, the Bradenton Herald reports.

His dad told the Daily Mail that his son was already in jail but that he would 'be out Sunday evening', adding that he was 'disappointed' in the punishment his son was handed and that it 'is not justice'.

Benac III accepted the plea deal ahead of an upcoming trial that saw him charged with the more serious crime of aggravated cruelty to animals, which could have landed him a longer sentence.

The deal meant Benac III's felony charge was dropped to a misdemeanour.

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Benac's attorney Justin Petredis said the man chose to take the plea deal due to the face the video had been shared widely online.

WARNING: This video contains graphic images and some people may find it disturbing

He told the Tampa Bay Times: "We were confident in what we could do and what we could show, but at the end of the day you can never be 100 percent confident in the jury system.

"That was a worry, that the anger and emotions of the jury would outweigh where we were hoping common sense would take over."

Michael Wenzel, 22, who was captain of the boat which dragged the shark along accepted a similar plea deal earlier this year and was also sentenced to 10 days in jail to be served on weekends.

A third man Spencer Heintz, 24, had charges against him dropped due to lack of evidence and because he testified against the other two.

A video showing the incident, which took place in July 2017, went viral with many social media users condemning the men involved.

In the clip the men dragged the shark along at speed, which resulted in the animal essentially being shredded.

Other videos by the men were then dredged up from social media - involved shooting sharks and seemingly pouring beer down the throats of other fish.

The clips prompted a massive backlash, so much so, a number of protesters arrived at the state attorney's office with a petition calling on harsher sentences for the men.

Topics: US News

Claire Reid

Claire is a journalist at LADbible who, after dossing around for a few years, went to Liverpool John Moores University. She graduated with a degree in Journalism and a whole load of debt. When not writing words in exchange for money she is usually at home watching serial killer documentaries surrounded by cats. You can contact Claire at [email protected]

 

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