More charged in deer beheading

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

Two additional Clovis men have been charged in connection to the slaying, beheading and dumping of five deer in Curry County two years ago, according to 9th Judicial District Attorney Matt Chandler.

Brothers Trey and Treven Sprinkle were arrested Monday on charges related to the out-of-season slaying in January 2005 of four mule deer and one whitetail, Chandler said.

Treven, 23, has been charged with five counts of unlawful killing of deer, hunting by artificial light, unlawful possession of deer, and waste of game, according to New Mexico Courts documents. Trey, 26, has been charged with five counts of unlawful possession of deer and one count of extortion.

The Sprinkles did not return Clovis News Journal phone calls seeking comment.

Clovis resident Darin Hunt was convicted in July 2005 of the slaying and beheading of the deer, according to courts records.

Hunt is a former employee of the elder Sprinkle brother, according to Wes Robertson, a New Mexico Game and Fish warden based in Clovis.

“They (the Sprinkles) allowed one of their friends to take all the blame for something they were involved with,” said Robertson, who was involved in the investigation that led to the arrest and conviction of Hunt.

Hunt confessed to shooting and beheading the deer. He was slapped with a $1,000 fine, a 30-day jail stay, 250 hours of mandatory community service, counseling and five years of probation for his involvement.

Witness testimony led to the charges against the Sprinkles, Robertson said.

The brothers were released from the Curry County Adult Detention Center Monday night on bonds, according to a detention center employee. They will have their first court hearing within the next 10 days, according to Chandler, who said Tuesday he was uncertain what type of sentence he would seek for the Sprinkles.

An investigator with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish said Hunt could have faced 7 1/2 years in jail and $6,100 in fines for his role in the slayings.

A Ranchvale property owner discovered the slain deer on his property in the winter of 2005. Their heads were discovered a mile north of a pond in Pleasant Hill several days later, according to officials.