2 get probation for turkey’s beating death

Ottawa County
Wild turkey killed

Feathers are seen in the Waukazoo Woods neighborhood the week after neighbors say a friendly wild turkey was killed by a group of teens. (July 9, 2019)

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — Two of the three people who admitted to beating a wild turkey to death in a Holland-area neighborhood were sentenced Tuesday.

Megan DeMeester and Thomas Sinclair, both 18, were each sentenced to a year of probation and 125 hours of community service — regarding wildlife conservation, if possible — the Holland Sentinel reports. If they complete the sentence, the conviction will be dismissed and erased from their records under the state’s Holmes Youthful Trainee Act.

DeMeester, Sinclair and a third 18-year-old killed the wild turkey July 4. Witnesses said they hit it with a car, beat it with a golf club and a pole, fired a pellet gun at it and decapitated it.

The turkey was loved by many in Waukazoo Woods in Park Township, with neighbors calling it “Mr. Gobbles” or “Token.” Some said they were not surprised to hear Mr. Gobbles had been killed because he could be aggressive. Regardless, neighbors wanted those responsible to face consequences.

DeMeester and Sinclair pleaded guilty in August to a misdemeanor charge of unlawfully taking a turkey. A third defendant, Benjamin Slenk, also pleaded guilty in September. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22.

All three are expected to have to pay part of a $2,000 fine plus costs and fees, according to the Holland Sentinel.

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