The Deer Commander is Officially Off the Hook


A screen capture of Jarrod Lee Hayn and his handiwork on
  • A screen capture of Jarrod Lee Hayn and his handiwork on
In the wake of a Supreme Court ruling that overturned a federal law outlawing depictions of animal cruelty, the U.S. Attorney's Office has dropped all charges against Jarrod Lee Hayn, the Illinois man who filmed himself running over deer with pickup truck and sold DVD's of the footage with the title The Deer Commander: Sudden Impact.

Robert Patrick has the scoop on the front page of this morning's Post-Dispatch, following up on our posts earlier this week on Daily RFT about Hayn's case, the Supreme Court ruling, and Hayn's attorney's claim that his client began filming the Bambi slaughter "just to prove these things were actually happening" after he damaged his vehicle by hitting several deer on the way to work, causing a dispute with his insurance company.

Patrick offers a few noteworthy new details, including the fact that the 38-year-old Hayn lost his job with the Illinois Department of Corrections because of the animal cruelty charges and boasted of mowing down more than 300 deer with his specially modified truck.

The paper also "obtained" a copy of Hayn's DVD, which they said retailed for $5, and described the footage in all it's gruesome glory.

Patrick writes:
On it, Hayn provides a tour of modifications to strengthen his matte black 1985 Dodge Ram pickup. The front sports a brawny steel brush guard, extra lights and a warning: "Beware of flying deer parts."

Hayn shows cobweb-shaped guards over his windows and explains they are to keep "the deer from comin' in on you." Several dozen painted deer silhouettes march down the side of the truck to, Hayn says, mark his kills.

The video, shot through the windshield, goes on to show impact after impact in black-and-white clips shot with what Hayn says was a night-vision camera. The driver swerves to hit adults and fawns, or just barrels straight into them.

In some instances, he maneuvers or brakes to miss them. The shots are interspersed with skits that even Fanning called "hokey-dokey." One shows a dead deer's muzzle coated with white powder as Hayn delivers an anti-drug message. In another, a lighted cigarette burns in a dead deer's mouth while Hayn cautions against the dangers of smoking.
Click here to read the whole story.

Illinois has a state laws that prohibits deliberately killing a deer with a motor vehicle but the law has a one-year statute of limitation, meaning Hayn is almost certainly off the hook (or should it be hood?) from further prosecution.

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