CONNERSVILLE (WISH) - The Connersville man who faces criminal charges for taking in a wild deer and nursing it back to health says he thinks the law should be changed.
Jeff and Jennifer Counceller found the deer in 2010 and named it Dani. They said she was near death probably attacked by a coyote. But they didn't have a permit to keep the animal.
Counceller said he tried several times to obtain a permit, but was denied because he already had the deer.
Both were charged with a misdemeanor for possessing a wild animal
Their arrest sparked outrage and captured headlines nationwide. Counceller said more than 140,000 people had signed a petition to have the charges dropped.
The case eventually reached the statehouse . At the request of Gov . Mike Pence, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources reevaluated the case against Jennifer and Jeffrey Counceller and is seeking to have the charges against the couple dismissed.
Late Thursday, Decatur County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Douglas Brown told 24-Hour News 8 the charges against the Councellers will be dropped by the end of the week. Brown says his office decided to drop the charges in response to a request from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Brown says his office will issue a special prosecutor's report explaining its decision once the charges have been dismissed.
Counceller told 24-Hour News 8 Thursday he thinks the law he and his wife are accused of breaking needs to be revisited.
"If somebody's trying to provide life-saving measures for an animal, they should be given the opportunity to work with the DNR and maybe a vet and try to save that animal and give that animal a chance to grow up," said Counceller, who added he has no regrets.
"We were gonna protect Dani at all costs," he said.
State Representative Sean Eberhart, the Republican chairperson of the House Natural Resources committee, said Counceller's concern has merit.
"We're going to keep our options open. There may be some things that we can do legislatively to address the issue and we're certainly going to keep looking at it," said Eberhart.
State Representative Clyde Kersey, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said he's not sure the law needs to be altered. He said he believes authorities followed the letter of the law with the arrest of the Councellers, but not the intent of the law.
"All of our laws are written from a standpoint of trying to protect someone or whatever, but I think you always have to look at those situations that are kind of special and you look at those and use common sense," said Kersey. "I think you can still follow the intent of the law and the letter of the law."
The Decatur County Prosecutor's office is handling the case.
Governor Mike Pence and executives from Allegion announced Wednesday morning that the company will base its North American headquarters in Carmel, creating up to 100 new jobs by 2014.
For three decades there's been talk of a new Criminal Justice Complex for Indianapolis and Marion County. Now, leaders are saying it's time to take action.
A multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 65 shut down lanes Wednesday morning.