Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

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Dan Schmidt
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Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby Dan Schmidt » Wed Jul 08, 2009 3:40 am

The News Herald (, Serving Northern Ohio

Woman may face charges for killing deer

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Indian Hills development is a verdant neighborhood hidden between the border of Euclid and East Cleveland. It seems more sub-rural than suburban.

Its tribally named roads like Miami, Algonquin and Sagamore are lined with thick foliage, not sidewalks. The land borders on Cleveland Metroparks property and includes an 8-acre working farm.

Residents fought to keep the land green when a factory tried to expand closer to it in 1991, Euclid Councilman Christopher Gruber said. Gruber lives in Indian Hills on Waynoka Road, close to the farm.

Wild turkeys, raccoons, groundhogs and even foxes sometimes wander into the development, he said.

And deer, lots of deer. That's where the Dorothy Richardson's problem started.

Richardson, 75, is a widow who has lived in Indian Hills for more than 10 years. She told neighbors that she had grown tired of the deer eating the flowers that she and her husband had planted, so she bludgeoned a fawn with a shovel on June 15.

Now, she is expected to be charged soon with a count of animal cruelty for killing the deer.

Gruber and two other neighbors filed the police report against her, but this is not the story of contentious neighbors. Gruber said he has mowed Richardson's lawn for the last seven years.

"Dorothy and I have been friends for years. She's a great lady. This is out of character for her," Gruber said.

Richardson has never denied killing the fawn. She told police she did it because she was scared. That story does not coincide with what she initially told neighbors, police said.

Gruber said she had told neighbors, including him, that she was tired of the deer eating her flowers and considered putting the fawn's body on the edge of her property to scare away other deer.

Richardson declined to be interviewed. Instead, she offered the business card of her attorney, Gregory S. Thomas. Thomas did not immediately return calls.

If convicted of animal cruelty, Richardson could be sentenced to as much as six months in jail and fined $1,000.

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RE: Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby ranwin33 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:13 am

Given her age, no.  She made a stupid mistake that appears to be out of character with her normal behavior.  Provided a psych evaluation indicates she is no threat to the community a fine should suffice.
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RE: Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby JOEL » Wed Jul 08, 2009 5:18 am

wow to whack a fawn with a shovel is pretty cold if ya ask me
"Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt and for the forest and fields in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul and make you a better person." - Fred Bear

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RE: Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby schlupis » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:04 am

Yup she knew what she was doing and in a way bragged about it telling her neighbors she was sick of the deer then stating she was going to put it on the edge of her property to scare deer away..
Regardless of age we all do things that are out of character sometimes, that doesnt mean we shouldnt be held accountable for our actions.
I am sure this is not the first time she has done something like this, this is just the first time she has gotten caught.

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RE: Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby 69Viking » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:13 am

The fact she told neighbors she was sick of the deer eating her plants and then told authorities she was scared for her life. She lied and should be fined and I think the 6 months in jail wouldn't hurt either. What about killing a deer out of season? Seems that would be an even stiffer penalty. The guy that said this is out of character for her is a friend. I think she just got mad about the deer eating the plants. Talk about a cruel way to go about it too, bludgeoned with shovel, that's character for ya!

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RE: Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby drdaven » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:51 am

She broke the law and should be punished.

The truth of the matter is that she will likely never see a day of jail time.  He attorney will have this dropped to a misdemeanor (provided she has no priors) and she will have to pay some fine.

I just want to know if the guy is going to continue to cut her lawn. [:D]
Hunting the Michigan Thumbs agricultural country bucks taste the best.

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Dan Schmidt
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RE: Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby Dan Schmidt » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:19 am

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RE: Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby DeerCamp » Wed Jul 08, 2009 7:37 am

give her the fine and lock her up.. it makes me sick reading this story.your scared of a fawn? whats the big bad thing gonna do to you? annd then to want to drag it out and put it on the line of your property?! thats insane..what if a little kid runs into the thing then? should give her for killing and animal out of season as well.. i could care less of her age, she should know better and deserves to be punished.
And come on, I work at The Home Depot and we sell some stuff called DEER OFF.. IT WORKS AMAZING! GO spend the 35 bucks on the stuff and your problem is fixed..
"If I pull the hammer and shoot this young buck, he's dead. But if I pass on him, the next hunter might not shoot so straight."

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RE: Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby NEW61375 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:18 am

A fine will probably suffice.  Jail time for a 76 year old, lighten up folks.  Make sure the next time you get a traffic ticket that you tell the judge you feel like you should get whatever jail time is on the books for the charge in addition to the fine.  So for example in VA if I'm clocked going 75 in a 55 and charged with reckless driving I will ask for the 6 month license suspension, 1 year jail time, and the $2500 fine and I would want my grandmother to get the same. 

She should try to get damage/nuisance permits for her flower/shrubs/garden from her County, that way she could ice Bambis whenever she wanted, farmers and others do it all year long to protect their investment.  Deer will eat through the Deer off products in no time at all, it works about as well as the deer whistle on your car.

She and her dead husband planted that garden so she probably has an emotional attachment to it and when she saw that little bugger scarfing down her tulips she blew a gasket.  Temporary insanity should be her defense. 

One final thought, her neighbors are pricks(except for the 7 years of grass cutting).

Flame on[8D].

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passin through
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RE: Should Woman Be Jailed for Killing Fawn?

Postby passin through » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:26 am

I think she should be fined and be done with can't really prove intent one way or another --- not saying that a Oldster can't be evil ...just seems more likely she need the psych evaluation...just simply for the myriad disorders that do strike that age group getting them to do all kinds of strange things.  I do agree her neighbors do seem to have taken it a bit far, if indeed they did hold her in all that high esteem in the first place.  Seems like a thing to do for muddle headed suburbanites with candy coated posteriors  "Oh My Gawd Marge!  Ol' Lady Richardson whacked Bambi with a Shovel!....Quick! lets have her arrested and go have a funeral for the poor dear deer[:(]"

No body asked how in heck a 76 year old woman got close enough to a deer to whack it in the head with a shovel??  Given it was a fawn but it should have been 30 days old or so and not all that easy to get close too? 
In 25 years of cutting hay I have spooked up on average between 20-30 different fawns each year depending on how much acreage I lay down.  In all that time I have only even heard of 2 getting got by the hay cutter and that was not even my rig.  So if they can get up and avoid a 9o horse tractor with a 9ft disc mower poking out the side traveling along between 10 and 20 miles an hour.......I just don't see how she was able to whack the little feller on the head with a shovel.  But stranger things have happened....
It matters not the weapon nor its caliber, rather the caliber of the one who wields it.


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