And January's (Sickening) Moron of the Month Award Goes To...

Hitting a defenseless deer over the head with a textbook is beyond shameful. Thankfully, the courts agreed.

We've highlighted a range of morons over the last few months here at Wide Open Spaces. We first met a guy that thought it would be cool to smack a bull moose in the antlers. Next up was the fella who figured he'd get his kicks from  bluff charging a black bear. And to round the year out, we had the dimwit who thought it was a joke to wrestle a rutting whitetail buck. All scored high on the moron meter. January's recipient, however, takes it to a whole new level.

This story is a year old but made national headlines when a disturbing video posted to Facebook went viral and gained widespread attention - including the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Villa Rica Police Department. According to news reports, four men were traveling along U.S Highway 165, near Stuttgart, Arkansas, when their vehicle struck a deer. Without notifying the proper authorities, three of the men loaded the live deer into the vehicle and left the scene. Shortly after, the deer regained consciousness, at which point Joshua Rewis, 20, began hitting it violently over the head with a heavy text book. The ten-second video posted shows a total of five blows. The men then pulled over and left the deer in a ditch.

Warning: Disturbing Content  

Joshua Rewis of Villa Rica, Georgia pleaded guilty to the charges of cruelty to animals and wasting wildlife (a misdemeanor), netting him a $2,250 in fines, 60 days in jail, and 60 days suspended sentence.  In addition, he was also ordered to undergo psychological evaluations as part of his sentencing.

The others involved, Cody Jones of Carrollton, Georgia, and Travis Strickland of Winston, Georgia, were both charged with criminal aiding and abetting and each were ordered to pay $370 fines. The driver of the vehicle, Johnna Sigler or Stuttgart, Arkansas, was issued a warning citation for aiding and abetting.

Think the punishment fits the crime? Apparently, it is only considered a misdemeanor crime because the animal is not a dog, cat, or horse.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: yes, these people live amongst us. And that's a scary thought to comprehend.