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Waupaca judge says man charged with deer deaths was overcharged

A judge in Waupaca says a man accused of running down deer with his snowmobile should not have been charged with both animal mistreatment and illegal hunting.

Circuit Judge Philip Kirk is giving the district attorney's office until Monday to drop either one set of charges or the other against Rory Kuenzi, 24.

Kuenzi's lawyer asked Kirk to drop the felony animal mistreatment case, after Kuenzi's brother Robby escaped those same charges by claiming he was hunting.

Wednesday, Judge Kirk called the myriad of charges against the Kuenzis and Nicholas Hermes a "goat rodeo."

And the judge blamed the prosecutors' charging decisions for the dismissal of Robby Kuenzi's mistreatment counts.

Kirk called the over-charging "the swine flu of the criminal justice system."

Rori Kuenzi and Hermes remain charged with six felony animal mistreatment counts and six misdemeanor counts of hunting out of season.

Waupaca Judge John Hoffman recently ruled in Robby Kuenzi's case that hunters cannot be charged with animal mistreatment.

Prosecutors are appealing that ruling. The three defendants were arrested for allegedly killing a half-dozen deer in January on a snowmobile trail in Waupaca County.

Rori Kuenzi was also charged with stealing the machine he allegedly used.