Clinton man pleads guilty to cruel treatment of animals
CLINTON — A Clinton man pleaded guilty on Thursday to cruel treatment of animals and numerous hunting violations in connection with a February 2010 incident in which seven white-tailed deer were run over with an all-terrain vehicle near Clinton Lake.
A person who saw one of the injured deer called the conservation police, who later discovered seven deer had been run over.
Clay A. Reeves, 22, of Clinton pleaded guilty to one count of cruel treatment of animals, five counts of hunting without the permission of the land owner and five counts of illegal hunting out of season.
Judge Garry Bryan sentenced Reeves to serve 24 months of probation; to pay a $350 fine; to make $1,750 in restitution to the state of Illinois for the deer; to undergo a mental-health evaluation within 30 days; to perform 280 hours of public service with the Department of Natural Resources; to not engage in hunting; to not operate an all-terrain vehicle; and to serve 180 days in jail for the cruel treatment of animals conviction.
Reeves also agreed to cooperate with the Department of Natural Resources with the ongoing investigation of the 2010 incident.
In addition, Reeves was ordered to pay $221 in fines for the convictions on the other 10 counts.
Bryan stayed Reeves' jail sentence until a remission hearing. According to DeWitt County Assistant State's Attorney Darrell Price, if Reeves performs all the other conditions of the sentence, he won't have to serve the jail time.
"I want to thank the Department of Natural Resources for its work in assisting with the prosecution of this case," Price said.
As part of a plea agreement, more than 45 other misdemeanor counts, including cruel treatment of animals, unlawful taking of deer by use or aid of a motor vehicle, unlawfully pursuing or intentionally harassing deer by use or aid of a motor vehicle, unlawful taking of deer by use of lights connected to vehicle, unlawful taking of deer using illegal methods, unlawful taking of deer during a closed season, criminal trespass to real property, hunting without permission and hunting between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise were dismissed.
A second man arrested in connection with the incident, Chevy L. Miller of Clinton, is scheduled to appear in court on March 21.