Pair charged with spotlighting deer

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, September 19, 2012

BRANCHVILLE—Two North Carolina residents are accused of leading authorities on a seven-mile chase when a game official attempted to stop them for alleged illegal spotlighting in the Branchville area on Saturday.

After Heather Pierce, 19, of Roanoke Rapids crashed the vehicle she was driving, authorities found two guns and a spotlight in the vehicle, said Sgt. J.T. Worrell with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. No dead deer were found.

A game officer on patrol in the Little Texas area at 2:30 a.m. attempted to stop Pierce and her passenger, Ryan Medlin, 18, of Roanoke Rapids for alleged illegal spotlighting, Worrell said.

“He tried to make a traffic stop, and they failed to stop,” he said. “They drove for several miles into Greensville County, where they crashed the vehicle and fled on foot. There was a lengthy search using the Southampton County canine team, Virginia State Police, Greensville Sheriff and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.”

At about 8 a.m., officials received a report of two people running across the back of a resident’s property, Worrell said.

“Myself and two officers responded with the dog and we apprehended the two suspects,” he said.

It’s illegal to spotlight for deer without permission from the landowner and with guns in the vehicle, Worrell said.

Pierce and Medlin were charged with attempting to kill deer using spotlights, and Pierce was charged with a driving-related violation.