The Maine Warden Service has charged four teenagers in connection with illegally killing four deer last April in several towns in Franklin and Androscoggin counties.

Maine game wardens issued summons this week to Zachary Black, 19, of Jay, and Kyle Elliott, 19, of Fayette, and two 18-year-olds from Livermore.

All four were charged with night hunting and additional charges are likely to be added, according to a press release Wednesday from warden service spokesman Cpl. John MacDonald.

The case stems from April 22, when game wardens responded to a complaint of an injured deer at the intersection of Bragdon Road and East Road in Chesterville. When the wardens arrived they found a doe pregnant with twin fawns that had been fatally shot in the spine. The doe was found in a field posted no trespassing.

The warden service offered a $1,000 reward for information on the killing.

Three other does were found left to waste on Route 106 in Leeds, Route 133 near Dodge Road in Livermore Falls, and on River Road in Livermore. The reward for information was increased to $3,500.

Wardens believe that all four deer were killed under similar circumstances. Other deer may have been killed but were not found, MacDonald said in the release.

The identification of the four suspects was the result of a six-month-long investigation, MacDonald said in the release. The probe included night surveillance details conducted by game wardens in the area the deer poaching occurred, and investigators also worked with members of the public who provided information.

“This case proved very detrimental to Maine’s deer herd in that area,” game warden Dave Chabot, the case’s primary investigator, said in the release. “The public once again worked with us and provided very helpful information; we appreciate their help very much.”

Maine State Police assisted in the investigation as well as Maine Operation Game Thief, which helped bring attention to the case.

Operation Game Thief has offered a reward of up to $3,500 for anyone who could provide information that would lead to the conviction of those responsible for the deer poaching. Game wardens are working with Operation Game Thief to determine reward eligibility.

Black, Elliott and the two 18-year-olds being charged in the case are scheduled to appear in Androscoggin and Franklin Country District Courts in February.

State hunting and game officials have condemned the killings, saying the act of shooting four does, leaving the bodies where they lay, was bizarre, disrespectful and doesn’t make sense.

“It is just not anything that a civil society would accept as OK,” David Trahan, the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, said at the time. “We absolutely condemn the illegal killing of these deer. It cuts right to my core.”

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

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