A judge has finally ordered jail time for a father and son who mercilessly killed three bears as they were peacefully slumbering in their winter den. Does the punishment fit the crime? We’ll let you be the judge.
Andrew Renner, 41, and his 18-year-old son, Owen, of Wasilla, Alaska, told family they were simply going on a hunting trip. Instead, they committed a heinous crime that more closely resembled a premeditated murder than an illegal hunt.
The pair took care to cover their tracks carefully by taking a boat to Esther Island in Prince William Sound, where they crept up to the den where a mother bear and her two young cubs were hibernating for the winter.
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First, they shot the mother bear as she slept. She never even had a chance to run or protect herself and her cubs. In fact, even had she been awake, there was only one way out of her den—straight into the hunters’ line of fire.
“They had no way of getting out of that den,” says Alaskan assistant attorney general Aaron Peterson, who prosecuted the case. “They were completely at the mercy of the Renners.”
After the mother had been shot, Andrew and Owen took aim at the two cubs in the den, who had woken up at the sound of their mother being shot and were crying out in terror. In a matter of seconds, more shots are fired, and the cries die off.
Andrew and Owen showed no remorse for their actions as they pulled the body of the mother bear out of the den, took pictures with her, dismembered her, and put her body parts into a bag to bring home with them.
A couple of days later, they returned to dispose of the bodies of the baby bears and make sure they hadn’t left behind any shell casings or other evidence of their crime.
What they may not have known, however, is that this particular mother bear and her cubs were being tracked and recorded to help wildlife researchers study them. The mother was wearing a tracking device, and there was a camera set up outside the den to watch their activity. That camera caught every last detail of Andrew and Owen’s crime.
At one point, Owen even said on camera, “They’ll never be able to link it to us, I don’t think.” But he was wrong.
The men’s crime was found out, and they were taken to court and sentenced. Together, they pled guilty to a total of 12 illegal actions, although Andrew claimed it had simply been a mistake.
A judge sentenced Andrew to three months in prison and barred him from hunting for 10 years. Owen, on the other hand, got a suspended 30-day sentence and community service. Watch the video below to see for yourself whether you think this pair’s punishment fits their crime.
WARNING: This video may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.Whizzco