But the plot twist is one that David Berry Junior – a Missouri poacher – had better get used to, after a judge ordered him to watch Bambi repeatedly when finding him guilty of killing hundreds of deer illegally.
Berry Junior, along with two family members, was prosecuted for the cruel killings, allegedly decapitating the animals, in what is considered one of the biggest coaching cases in the state’s history.
“Taking just the heads is their version of obtaining a ‘trophy’ and leaving the carcass behind is merely an afterthought,” said Randy Doman, the division chief of the Missouri Department of Conservation. “While there are some cases where poachers go after the antlers for profit, with this bunch it was more about the thrill of the kill itself.”
In addition to serving a year’s jail time, Judge Robert George ordered Berry Junior to “view the Walt Disney movie Bambi, with the first viewing being on or before December 23, 2018, and at least one such viewing each month thereafter,” in the unusual punishment.
Berry Junior, who also served an additional 120 days behind bars for a firearms probation violation, has paid $51,000 worth of fines and court costs.
The 1942 Disney classic sees Bambi’s mother murdered by poachers, leaving the fawn to fend for himself.
However, the classic movie has a happy ending, with Bambi becoming the new Great Prince of the Forest.