Adirondack men sentenced for great blue heron attack on Ausable River

State officials say two men have been convicted and sentenced following an attack on a great blue heron last August in Essex County.

Michael Martindale from the town of Jay and Ryan Slater from Wilmington were convicted of crimes including illegally taking wildlife and torturing an animal.

The men were seen throwing stones at a great blue heron near the Ausable River in the town of Jay.  The bird was injured so severely that it had to be euthanized.

Slater, age 22, was sentenced to sixty days in jail and has also been returned to state prison for four years for violating his parole status.

Martindale, age 29, paid a fine of just over 500 dollars.

The attack on the great blue heron drew widespread attention and condemnation from the public.

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17 Comments on “Adirondack men sentenced for great blue heron attack on Ausable River”

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  1. Gail Brill says:

    Not nearly enough.

  2. DEL says:

    Get what you give. Agreed. Not enough.

  3. Walker says:

    Just out of curiosity, why don’t we have photos of these cretins? If they’re not going to do any or very much time, they ought to be subject to the shame of public recognition. But search on their names, and all you get is the poor bird.

  4. Walker says:

    And the last Enterprise story on these two said that they could be subject to up to six months in jail and a $15,000 fine under Federal charges. What happened to that?

  5. DEL says:

    They must have gotten the same prosecutor who did the Comlinks embezzlement case. It’s always about the $.

  6. Paul says:

    Getting stuck back in state prison for 4 years is pretty tough, but the other guy got off pretty easy. Were they both as culpable?

  7. Paul says:

    It is not the prosecutor it is the sentencing guidelines:

    “The maximum penalty for each violation would be $250 and/or 15 days in jail,” said Lt. Darrah. “A $75 surcharge is also applied to each conviction. And then in addition they can pay civil penalties totaling $300 for each count.”

    The judges hands were tied. Basically the one kid got about what you would expect as far as a maximum penalty for a first offense (he actually was fined twice the guideline). The other kid got 60 days in jail which is twice the max.

    If anyone is upset it should be with the legislature.

  8. Paul says:

    Sorry it was 250 per offense so he was fined 250 for each I would guess.

  9. Keith Silliman says:

    Could they also be subject to federal prosecution?

    At least they didn’t get a complete walk on the state charges….

  10. Mervel says:

    One was on probation which is why he is going back to prison.

  11. Paul says:

    Some of the comments here are scary.

  12. Peter Hahn says:

    They should be sentenced to work for years in one of those wildlife rehabilitation programs.

  13. Mervel says:

    Cruelty to animals is all to common, both wild and domestic. We love violence.

  14. Paul says:

    It is strange some of the same folks that seem to abhor things like torture and the like in other discussions sound like absolutely sick individuals here?????

    Dale, I would delete some of this garbage in case you have any younger individuals who access these blogs.

    When they read this type of stuff they might grow up to be like the ones that did these nasty things and the fools that suggest even worse.

    Apples don’t fall far from the trees.

  15. Two Cents says:

    it’s relative paul,
    pick on someone, or somthing like an animal, defenseless, and i get awfully self-rightous.
    If you go back to the time of the first report of the rock throwing, i too said “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” when commenting on how two individuals were brought up thinking this behavior was acceptable.
    So the same proverb can be used both ways eh?
    These two individuals show no respect, and therefore get none of mine. I save that for those more deserving of understanding and mercy.
    Just a side note, i often like to use hyperbole, and dramatic/drastic phrasing for giggles.
    It’s a personal choice, a sick sense of humor to some– but then i don’t throw rocks at living things for the entertainment value.
    I questioned a long time ago how many rocks these guys had to throw before they hit their target, because if it wasn’t a lucky first shot, they many witnesses sat by and watched, fearing to intervene (afraid of escalation? reprisal?) they did call the officials, giving time for the guys to improve their aim.
    I say one rock thrown and i would have been out of the vehicle and confronting the men. If children were near-by i would hope their parents could use the whole thing as a teaching oppertunity.
    As far as kids under 16 surfing this site? I doubt it, but that’s another story.
    It’s probably rougher in the schoolyard.

  16. admin says:


    I was not watching this thread very closely, and should have been, given the earlier reaction when NCPR posted about the arrest. I have now removed a few comments that went beyond outrage at an act of animal cruelty to recommend acts of human cruelty. If this had been a hypothetical discussion, I might not have, but these are named individuals who live among us. The in Box should not be a forum to incite or encourage retribution against specific individuals beyond the scope of law.

    If anyone thinks they have been unfairly censored in this regard, feel free to apply some heat.

    Dale Hobson, NCPR

  17. Two Cents says:

    well, a little heat-
    the neutering comment is (was) my thought along the lines of apple/tree.
    These are not people i would like to see teach/raise children CERTAINLY not any of their own if it could be helped.
    The hog bait comment was me being just plain mean for the sake of sarcasm, and current events.

    I was not trying to incite, i was offering my service.

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