Weather Alerts 15 View »

Florida Manatee cannonballers avoid jail time


Video by

Florida Manatee cannonballers avoid jail time

By Julianne Cassidy. CREATED Jun 19, 2014

Taylor Blake Martin, 22, and Seth Andrew Stephenson, 22, will not face jail time after intentionally luring a mother manatee and her calf over to their dock with fresh water to then cannonball on top of them in a Brevard County canal in Florida. A federal investigation began soon after the video of their cruel actions was posted to Facebook in March 2012. They were charged with violating the endangered species act.

If the men would have killed the mother or her baby while jumping on them, or the video captured the protected animals being visibly injured, Martin and Stephenson would have reportedly faced jail time.

However, since the video does not show death or immediate injury, "Their attorneys and the government agreed each man would serve two years probation and community service," reports the Orlando Sentinel. Martin and Stephenson also must post an apology for their actions on Facebook.

"Martin, who is already on probation in Alabama, and Stephenson ... each pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor endangered-species charge earlier this year," further reports the Orlando Sentinel. 

In consideration of the fact that Martin referred to himself as "Tayla the manatee slaya" on Facebook, do you think this mere slap-on-the-wrist agreement was enough? Should the animals have had to die in order for Martin and Stephenson to face a possible jail conviction? Comment us below and/or find us on Facebook.

Julianne Cassidy

Julianne Cassidy

Email Facebook Twitter
A city girl gone country, Philadelphia-bred journalist Julianne Cassidy relocated to be a Nashville-based digital editor for Scripps Media, Inc.