February 14 UPDATE:
Possible penalties for misdemeanor charge of Harassing Game:
Up to 30 days in jail
Up to $25,000 fine
$400 restitution per deer
Possible penalties for misdemeanor charge of Reckless Driving:
Up to one year in jail
Up to $1,000 fine
30-day licence revocation
These possible penalties will be presented at the Davis and Ohmer’s arraignment Feb. 26, at 3:15 p.m. at the Petersburg Superior Court.
The teenagers are 17-year-old Sebastian Davis and 17-year-old Jasmine Ohmer. Both say what happened on February 5 was an accident. In court documents, they say that they were trying to scare the deer for fun, they were not trying to hit the deer. But a video recording the incident could paint a different story, showing the teens hitting the deer with their truck and laughing about it.
Ohmer recorded the incident on video from the passenger side of the truck and posted it on the social media app, Snap Chat. The video shows the vehicle approaching and then hitting two deer with a third one further up the road.
It takes place in broad daylight on Wrangell Avenue in a residential neighborhood.
Alaska State Wildlife Troopers in Petersburg received the video Feb. 7 and investigated. On Feb. 12 troopers charged each of the teens with harassing game and Davis also for reckless driving. Misdemeanor charges of harassing game could bring a $400 fine per deer. Reckless driving is also a misdemeanor. The troopers say, according to the video, the teens drove directly at the deer and did not try to avoid them.
The District Attorney’s Office in Sitka is handling the case.
The teenagers admitted to hitting a third deer the night before. They say the deer jumped out in front of their truck. Troopers found deer hair on the truck and a broken headlight on the driver’s side.
The third deer was on Sandy Beach Road. A dead deer was found on that road the same night by a resident.
There were no other witnesses–besides the video–of the teens hitting the deer. Davis and Ohmer say the deer did not die from what they saw. They say the two deer they hit in the video ran off into a yard. They say the third deer they hit the night before laid down in the road and then got up and walked towards the beach.
In an e-mail, Trooper Spokeswoman, Megan Peters, says that blood was found near the scene of the two deer that were hit but no deceased animals were found. She says the charges reflect what troopers believe they have evidence to support.
The arraignment for the teens is scheduled for Feb. 26, at 3:15 p.m. at the Petersburg Superior Court.