One of the three Weyauwega area men alleged to have involved in the slaughter of five deer in the Waupaca County of Lind late last week made his initial appearance in Waupaca County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon.
22-year-old Nicholas Hermes is charged with five felony counts of mistreatment of an animal, and faces up to three and a half years in prison on each count if convicted. He was released from custody on a $15,000 signature bond.
Hermes, along with 24-year-old Rory Kuenzi and 24-year-old Robby Kuenzi, were picked up by authorities Wednesday afternoon, after officials received several tips in the case.
The criminal complaint says the three were snowmobiling the town of Lind trails when the lead machine hit a deer, and the other two snowmobiles ran over it. The complaint alleges the three then began circling a herd of 30 to 40 deer in a field, running over four more.
The two Kuenzi's and Hermes then left the area, and abandoned one of the snowmobiles in some thick brush off the trail in the Town of Royalton, about 15 miles from where the deer were killed.
Following a tip, DNR warden Jeff Knorr found that snowmobile this week, and learned that it had been reported stolen from the city of Manawa in December.
Formal charges have not yet been filed against Rory and Robby Kuenzi. Rory is being held on a probation violation, and judge Ray Huber today ordered that Hermes not to have contact with either Rory or Robby. The judge says both will make their initial appearances in court Friday.