ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A U.S. Supreme Court ruling forced federal prosecutors to drop charges this week against an Illinois man who sold videos of himself running over deer with his reinforced pickup truck.
Jarrod Hayn, 38, of Kampsville, Ill., was charged last month in U.S. District Court in St. Louis with two felony counts for possession and sales of "depictions of animal cruelty" for commercial purposes.
Those charges were dropped on Thursday after the Supreme Court ruled two days earlier that a law against possessing videos of dogfighting was unconstitutional.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Hayn, a former Illinois Department of Corrections officer, boasted on the video "Deer Commander: Sudden Impact" that he had killed more than 300 deer with his 1985 Dodge Ram.
Until the Supreme Court ruling, prosecutors believed it was illegal for Hayn to possess or sell the video. They relied on a little-used law originally intended to outlaw fetish videos in which small animals were crushed before women's feet.
But in an 8-1 decision in a case involving a dogfighting video, the high court said the law against the video violated the First Amendment by prohibiting speech or expression because of its content.
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