Two years in prision for killing deer --
- WAUPACA — One of the men charged with using snowmobiles to kill deer in Waupaca County was sentenced Friday to two years in prison on a 2005 conviction for beating his girlfriend.
Rory Kuenzi, 24, of Weyauwega, had been on probation for the substantial battery conviction, but the probation was revoked when he was charged in January with multiple counts of felony animal mistreatment for his alleged role in killing the deer in the Town of Lind.
Waupaca County Judge John Hoffmann had the option of sentencing Kuenzi to any combination of two years of prison and extended supervision after his probation was revoked. Hoffmann said the seriousness of the battery conviction — Kuenzi broke one of his girlfriend's teeth in the assault — warranted a stiff sentence.
He also referred obliquely to the animal mistreatment charges, saying "there are some aggravating circumstances to those cases."
The sentencing hearing was notable in that there was not the usual crowd of onlookers, and that it provided a glimpse into the issues the court will confront as the animal mistreatment cases wend their way to trial.
Assistant Dist. Atty. James Fassbender, who also is the prosecutor of three deer cases, argued for the maximum two-year term sentence on the battery conviction.
Public Defender Troy Nielsen told Hoffmann his client had, at least in the year prior to the deer charges, stayed out of trouble.
Fassbender, referring to the animal charges, said, "These are acts that can be described as brutal and consistent with the personality he exhibited in the underlying case. When a person is violent toward animals, they frequently will visit those tendencies on humans."
Hoffmann then challenged Fassbender's thesis.
"Are there any studies to indicate that if adults harm animals, that they would have a tendency to harm individuals?" Hoffman asked.
Fassbender said he wasn't aware of any "but I will certainly be looking."
Also charged with Kuenzi in the deer-killing case are his brother, Robby Kuenzi, 23, and friend Nicholas Hermes, 23.
Dan Wilson: 920-993-1000, ext. 304, or dwilson@...
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