Teens admit killing baby skunks with paintball gun
Lauren Pack, Middletown Journal
LEBANON, Ohio - Three southern Ohio football players admitted this week to killing two baby skunks with a paintball gun and chasing and shooting at the mother and a third baby skunk at a Hueston Woods State Park campground.
The 17-year-old Franklin High School athletes, wearing ties and flanked by their parents, appeared before Warren County Juvenile Court Judge Mike Powell.
The boys each quietly answered "I admit" to the charges of juvenile delinquency by way of cruelty to animals, improper methods of taking game birds and wild quadrupeds and disorderly conduct.
The students - all seniors - will be sentenced for the misdemeanor charges Sept. 12 following a pre-sentence investigation.
The judge could impose a sentence of as many as 90 days in the juvenile detention center, house arrest, a fine, community service and probation.
According to park officers, campers at Hueston Woods saw the youths chasing skunks with paintball guns. The teens then reportedly chased the remaining baby skunk and its mother into a drainage pipe under a park road.
Charges were filed in Preble County Juvenile Court, but were transferred to Warren County, where the juveniles reside, for adjudication.
Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Kimberly Kutschbach requested the boys have no contact with each other until after the pre-sentence investigation is completed.
The teens' attorney, Joe Kirby, objected, noting they are teammates and go to school together.
"They are good kids who did something that is just wrong and stupid," Kirby said, noting many school officials were in the court-
room ready to attest to the defendants' character. Kirby said a no-contact order would not be in the boys' best interest.
Powell relented and permitted the boys to see each other at school and in extracurricular activities, but not to socialize until after the pre-sentence investigation is completed.