"Mr. Buck's" killer pleads guilty

August 26, 2009 1:42:48 PM PDT
The man who killed a beloved deer has plead guilty in the case.In November 2008, a deer known to residents as "Mr. Buck" was killed and decapitated at Bear Creek Park. Brandon Gregory, who was arrested in December, initially told investigators the deer charged him, injuring him with its antlers. Gregory claimed at the time that he stabbed the animal in self-defense.

Investigators never believed Gregory's claim, given that he came into the park at night, prepared with bolt cutters and a bone saw, and left with the deer's head.

Today Gregory plead guilty to the felony charge of taking wildlife without consent. He will be sentenced on November 18. Gregory is also due in court on September 24 on two additional misdemeanor hunting related charges.

Wildlife officials at Bear Creek Park say "Mr. Buck", who lived at the park for seven years, was kept there for a reason. The deer's leg was injured in its first year of life.

"He was here because he could not survive on his own," said park official Mike McMahan.

Had the deer not had that injury, McMahan speculates, the deer might have had a better chance against Gregory and might even have survived. Park visitors say Mr. Buck was practically tame and they brought their children to visit him frequently. The was public outrage after the animal's death.

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