A Florida man was sentenced to serve 10 days in jail for helping his friends drag a shark to its death while it was tied to a speedboat in 2017.
According to the New York Post, Robert Lee Benac,30, was one out of three men who tied a shark to a speedboat and recorded the footage near Egmont Key in June 2017. The disturbing video went viral and more videos emerged of Benac and his friends shooting at sharks and pouring alcohol down the throats of the sharks who survived. He originally faced felony charges but was permitted to plead down to misdemeanor charges for aggravated cruelty to animals and violating the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules.
Benac was sentenced to serve 10 days in the Hillsborough County Jail and was also given 11 months of probation and to perform 250 hours of community service. Half of the hours must be served at an animal shelter and Benac was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine.
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Benac’s buddy, Michael Wenzel,23, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges so he could serve 10 days in jail and probation last May. The third man involved in the act, Spencer Heintz,23, was initially charged but they were dropped.
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Benac’s lawyer said in a statement that they took the plea deal due to the amount of backlash from the video.
“That was a worry, that the anger and emotions of the jury would outweigh where we were hoping common sense would take over,”
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