TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Disturbing new video has been released in the now infamous shark-dragging case in Tampa Bay.
Shocking images show three young men from the Bay Area, not only dragging a shark behind a boat, but also shooting it.
Right now, prosecutors are preparing for trial, and they’ve just released this new video as part of discovery in the court process. It is a video that some people find extremely disturbing.
The video captures one of the young men firing shots into the body of the shark, and the animal appears to react.
This story has gone global, originating with the now viral-video, recording a fishing trip where three Bay Area men are out on the Gulf of Mexico. They later posted to social media video where a shark is seen being dragged behind their boat. Then, these latest images show the shark being shot multiple times while the young men in the video are laughing. It is an incident that took place in 2017 and caused worldwide outrage.
A total of three men were arrested in the case. Two have taken deals. One man is now left, Robert Benac, who is facing an animal cruelty charge that the state claims was captured on video.
Longtime defense attorney, Bryant Camareno, who is not affiliated with the case, offered legal analysis and weighed in on the images. He told 8 on your Side, “The video, in and of itself, takes it to a whole other level, and I think that’s going to make or break this case.”
This local attorney has been watching the case closely and says there are many aspects to the upcoming trial, especially the importance of the video content. “That’s the key, that it looks bad on video, and there are people conscious of that and they want to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Camareno.
Lawyers defending Benac claim the shark was dead when the dragging and shooting took place. However, prosecutors maintain, that’s not at all how it happened.
Camareno told 8 on your Side, “The defense has put it out there that the animal is already dead, and if that’s the case, then they should win this. But, if there’s evidence of the animals alive, then the jury can convict.”
He added, “It’s still a life, you know, and I can see where people can relate to that come in that sense. It’s an animal. And, then from a legal standpoint, somebody’s liberty could be taken away. So, that’s why am interested in the case from that perspective.”
The case is set to go to trial September 16.
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