One Iowa man is in big trouble for an alleged act of violence in the state of Florida.

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Last November, Paul Fletcher of Jesup made a trip down to Florida according to reports. During the trip, a report from police went out asking for the public's help in finding the suspect of a case of violence against an animal.

Local media outlets reported that someone was spotted on the beach in Marco Island, Florida allegedly beating a seagull with a shovel. Police officials claim that the suspect had left before they arrived on the scene.

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida reported that the seagull had sustained multiple fractures to its wings and severe head trauma. They had to euthanize the creature as a result of its injuries.

They also posted images of this on their social media account.

A warning for readers, this photo is graphic.

Seagulls are actually protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Flaucher turned himself in to the authorities after the incident. He is currently facing felony charges and is charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty.

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According to a Florida statute, there are quite a few distinctions for how this punishment ought to be carried out.

In one instance if an individual...

"...unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner," this is considered a first degree misdeamenor. 

This is considered animal cruelty in the state of Florida and would require someone to pay a fine of $5,000 or spend 1 year in prison.

Aggravated animal cruelty in Florida is when someone,

"...intentionally commits an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done."

This sort of heinous act would result in either a fine of $10,000 or 5 years behind bars.

We will continue to keep you updated as more details emerge about this case and sentencing.

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