2 teens plead guilty to turkey killing

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)

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — Two teenagers accused of brutally killing a neighborhood turkey named Mr. Gobbles are now pleading guilty in the case.

Court records show that Thomas Sinclair and Megan DeMeester, who are charged with unlawfully taking the turkey, switched their pleas this week. They’re both scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 1.

Prosecutors also dismissed their case against Elijah VanderLee, who was charged with the same crime. It’s unclear why the misdemeanor charge was dropped.

A neighbor said their daughter witnessed a group of teenagers attack Mr. Gobbles near Waukazoo and Edgewood drives in the Waukazoo Woods neighborhood of Park Township on the Fourth of July. The witness said the teens ran over the bird with a car, beat it with a golf club and metal pole, and used a pellet gun against the wild turkey.

Prosecutors previously said they have video and photographic evidence in the case.

Some neighbors say they were not surprised to hear Mr. Gobbles had been killed because he was often aggressive. However, community members want those responsible held accountable.

A fourth teenager, Benjamin Slenk, previously pleaded not guilty to unlawfully taking the turkey. It’s unclear when he will return to court.

If convicted, Slenk faces up to $2,000 in fines and 90 days in jail.

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