NewsNational

Actions

Judge drops charges against one suspect in shark dragging video case

Posted: 8:28 AM, May 01, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-01 14:06:27Z
Charges dropped against 1 shark dragging suspect
Charges dropped against 1 shark dragging suspect
Charges dropped against 1 shark dragging suspect

The charges against one of the three men in connection to a viral video of a shark being dragged behind a boat from July 2017 have been dropped.

A Hillsborough County (Florida) judge dropped two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty (third-degree felony) against Spencer Heintz Tuesday morning.

According to the judge, the state dropped the charges because no evidence showed that Heintz, 23, broke the law and because he agreed to testify as a witness.

Heintz, 21-year-old Michael Wenzel and 28-year-old Robert Lee Benac were all charged after a four-month-long investigation into the graphic video of a shark being dragged behind a boat.

At this time, it is unknown if the charges against Wenzel and Benac will also be dropped.

Wentzel and Benac still face the following charges:

  • Michael Wenzel
    • Two felony counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty (Third-degree felony).
    • One misdemeanor count of Illegal Method of Take – Shark (Second-degree misdemeanor).
  • Robert Lee Benac 
    • Two felony counts of Aggravated Animal Cruelty (Third-degree felony).
    • One misdemeanor count of Illegal Method of Take – Shark (Second-degree misdemeanor).