Not Guilty Pleas From Shark-Dragging Suspects

Neither Michael Wenzel, Robert Benac nor Spencer Heintz appeared in a Hillsborough courtroom for their arraignment on animal abuse charges.  Their attorneys entered not guilty pleas on their behalf.  

The three Manatee County men are accused of dragging a shark from the back of their speeding boat, laughing as the shark violently flipped and repeatedly slammed into the water.  

The video went viral, prompting outrage on social  media.  It also resulted in an investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Hillsborough State Attorneys office, since investigators believe the abuse took place in Hillsborough County waters.  

The suspects are expected in court for their next hearing in March.

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