A Florida fisherman who took part in dragging a shark behind a boat at high speed will spend five weekends in jail after pleading guilty to misdemeanor animal cruelty.
Robert Benac III will also pay $2,500, perform 250 hours of community service at an animal shelter and lose his fishing license for three years for his part in the 2017 incident that was recorded on video and shared on social media.
Benac took the deal rather than face felony charges of aggravated animal cruelty and possible prison time, the Bradenton Herald reported.
“We were confident in what we could do and what we could show, but at the end of the day you can never be 100% confident in the jury system,” Benac’s attorney, Justin Petredis, told the Tampa Bay Times. “That was a worry, that the anger and emotions of the jury would outweigh where we were hoping common sense would take over.”
Benac was one of three men originally charged. Michael Wenzel took a similar deal in February. Wenzel, who operated the boat and was seen shooting the shark with a handgun, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges and will also serve 10 days in jail as part of it.
Charges against the third man were dropped.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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