Men in shark-dragging case plead not guilty

Angelo Anderson
January 13, 2018

The laywers submitted not guilty pleas Wednesday morning in court in Tampa, according to WFLA-Channel 8.

Three people charged in connection to last summer's disturbing shark-dragging video that went viral formally plead not guilty.

The horrifying video made its rounds online previous year, and it shows the men laughing as they drag the helpless animal behind them at high speeds causing it to bounce on the water. "Look, it's already nearly dead", said one man laughing and pointing at the shark.

Attorneys for three Florida men linked to a shark-dragging video say their clients are innocent.

The men - Robert Lee "Bo" Benac, 28, Michael Wenzel, 21, and Spencer Heintz, 23 - are each being charged with two counts of aggravated animal cruelty, a third-degree felony, announced by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

During a months-long investigation, the FWC obtained a series of videos, photographs and text conversations through search warrants in Manatee County from Wenzel's, Benac's and Nicholas Easterling's social media accounts. They are all out of custody after posting bond, and their depositions are scheduled for March 6.

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