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A Utah man has been convicted of the 2011 killing of a trophy mule deer that was seen so often at Camp Williams that soldiers had given it a nickname.
The deer called "The Rabbi" for its very large and uniquely shaped antlers was found dead on Oct. 24, 2011 in the Beef Hollow area of Camp Williams, which is closed to hunting.
Stephen Dick Rueckert, 49, was charged in 2012 with one count of third-degree felony wanton destruction of protected wildlife.
On Wednesday, following a two-day jury trial in 3rd District Court, Rueckert was convicted of the charge.
He faces up to five years in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 9.
According to charging documents, a National Guard sergeant found the deer's carcass, which was missing its head, backstraps and hindquarters, while investigating reports of shots fired in the area.
The sergeant recognized the deer as being The Rabbi which he had seen at least 30 times between the beginning of September and about Oct. 19 in 2011, charges state.
The sergeant called the state Division of Wildlife Resources to help investigate.
On Nov. 17, 2011, a the DWR officer got an anonymous tip that the deer's distinctive antlers had been seen at a taxidermy shop in Sandy. When shown a picture of the deer, the shop's owner confirmed he had skinned the cape from the head of that deer. He told investigators that Rueckert, then of Altamont in Duchesne County, had brought it to him, charges state.
In an interview with investigators, Rueckert admitted that he knew the camp was closed to hunting, and he had been denied permission to hunt there, according to charges.
Rueckert admitted that he killed the mule deer, saying "That's my deer. I killed that deer," charges state.
The Rabbi had antlers measuring 37 inches wide, making it a trophy deer worth $8,000, according to charges.