A Missouri man has to watch Bambi as part of a court-ordered punishment—yes, really

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which watching a Disney movie would be considered punishment. But one Missouri man is being required to watch Bambi once a month—as part of a court-ordered sentence. The Springfield News-Leader reports that David Berry Jr. was one of four members of a Southwest Missouri family convicted of poaching. The paper notes that Berry Jr. and his family illegally killed hundreds of deer over several years, in what has been labeled one of the state’s largest poaching cases ever. And because of the severity of the case, Lawrence County Judge Robert George added a unique punishment to Berry Jr.’s sentence.

According to court records obtained by the News-Leader, the convicted poacher “is to watch the Disney movie Bambi, with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018″ once a month for the entire time he’s incarcerated in the Lawrence County Jail. On December 6th, George sentenced Berry Jr. to one year in jail—or 12 viewings of Bambi. 

Berry Jr. was also later sentenced to an additional 120 days in jail in the Barton County Court. According to a press release from the Missouri Department of Conservation, Berry Jr. and his family have a long history of illegal hunting and fishing. The four have served a combined 33 days in jail and paid $151,000 in bonds and $51,000 in court costs. An investigation over eight and a half months led to their arrests.

"It is unknown how many deer the main group of suspects has taken illegally over the past several years," Lawrence County Conservation Agent Andy Barnes said in the release. "It would be safe to say that several hundred deer were taken illegally."

We can only hope that after watching Bambi more than 12 times, Berry Jr. sees the error of his ways.

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