TAMPA, Fla. — The shark-dragging video that went viral in the summer of 2017 has a new twist as the last of the three men involved prepares for trial.
- WARNING: This story contains graphic images and video some viewers may find disturbing
- New video shows shark being shot with gun
- Robert Benac is one of three men charged
- Benac's attorney says his client's participation was minimal
- Last suspect in shark-dragging case to go to trial, beginning in September
New video shows one of the men firing gunshots, almost at point-blank range, at a shark in the water. The other men were reportedly cheering him on.
Robert Benac, Michael Wenzel, and Spencer Heintz were boating in the Gulf of Mexico in June 2017 when they recorded video of a shark hooked on their fishing line being dragged at a high speed behind the boat.
It unclear if the shark that was shot was also the one that was dragged.
“Gun on a boat, alcohol, videotaping -- a recipe for disaster,” said criminal defense attorney Jay Herbert.
The video went viral after being posted on social media and the three were charged with animal cruelty. Herbert believes the new;y-released video was captured on the same day.
- PREVIOUS STORY: Shark-dragging plea deal nets 10 days in jail
Charges against Heintz were dropped.
Wenzel pleaded guilty to a 1st degree misdemeanor of animal cruelty and breaking fish and wildlife rules. He spent 10 days in jail and paid a $2,500 fine.
Benac and his attorney Justin Petredis contend that he was not an active participant in the shark dragging or shooting. Petredis said Wenzel shot the shark before the animal was dragged. He declined a plea deal and is awaiting trial.
"We'll do our best to show the whole picture," Benac's attorney Justin Petredis said in May. "And show what my client did and did not do and show that we don't believe he committed any crimes."
It remains unclear how this new video may impact Benac's trial. Benac goes on trial in September.