CLINTON — A Clinton man has been sentenced to 24 months of probation and ordered to perform 280 hours of public service for killing seven white tail deer at Clinton Lake in 2010.
Clay Reeves, 22, pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals. A Class 3 felony charge of animal torture was dismissed in a plea agreement said DeWitt County State’s Attorney Dick Koritz.
Conservation police with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources believe Reeves, and another defendant, Chevy Miller of Clinton, ran over the deer with all-terrain vehicles in February 2010.
Koritz said the charge of animal cruelty was dismissed because Reeves cooperated with authorities.
“He provided some information to us, and the DNR was happy with that and his plea,” Koritz said. “It is a very strict probation and as long as he keeps his nose super clean, he can avoid jail time. But the slightest indiscretion, and he will be in jail.“
If he violates terms of his probation, he could serve up to six months in jail.
His community service work will be with the DNR, Koritz said.
“I think that is an important aspect of this plea agreement,” he said.
Reeves was indicted in July 2010 after a six-month investigation by Conservation Police with help from the residents of DeWitt County and Clinton Crime Stoppers.
Miller is due in court March 21. He is charged with seven counts each of animal torture, animal harassment by motor vehicle, hunting between 30 minutes after sunset and 30 minutes before sunrise, hunting with aid of a motor vehicle, hunting by aid of lights attached to a motor vehicle, hunting without permission and unlawful taking of deer.
He also faces a single count of criminal trespass to real property. The deer were killed on Clinton Power Station property.