Poaching suspect indicted by Clinton County grand jury

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A buck in full rut with impressive antlers
White-tailed deer antlers have been found to grow up to a quarter inch per day in the healthiest individuals. (Tami Gingrich photo)

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced the indictment of a Wilmington man accused of poaching an 18-point antlered white-tailed deer.

The indictment, returned May 10 by a Clinton County grand jury, accuses Christopher J. Alexander of unlawfully harvesting the deer on Nov. 9, 2023.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, Alexander claimed that the animal had been on property owned by his sister, Kristina M. Alexander, when he harvested the deer and presented written permission from his sister to hunt on her land to a wildlife officer. An investigation by ODNR’s Division of Wildlife, however, revealed incriminating evidence to the contrary.

Wildlife officers discovered through warranted searches of cellphone data that Christopher Alexander had illegally hunted the trophy buck on private property about 10 miles from his sister’s land, and later learned that the written permission from his sister he had presented to wildlife officers had been falsified — after the deer was killed — to mislead authorities.

Evidence revealed Christopher Alexander staged the deer taking at his sister’s property with the help of Corey P. Haunert and his brother, Zachary R. Haunert, to conceal the poaching.

The investigation also found that Corey Haunert aided Christopher Alexander in poaching deer on multiple occasions, providing the crossbow used to hunt and assisting in deer retrieval and staging with Zachary Haunert. Kristina Alexander is accused of falsifying the date when the written permission to hunt occurred.

Likewise, wildlife officers learned that Christopher Alexander deceptively profited from the illegal deer taking, selling deer antlers and receiving payments totaling $20,000 from an antler collector, a hunting magazine and a company that sells deer products.

Christopher Alexander, 28, of Wilmington, faces 23 total charges, including five counts of illegally hunting deer without written permission, two counts of hunting without a license, one county of jacklighting and felony counts of theft by deception, tampering with evidence

Corey Haunert, 29, of Hillsboro, faces eight charges, four counts of aiding a wildlife offender, two counts fo hunting without permission and a felony count of tampering with evidence.

Kristina Alexander, 37, of Blanchester, faces misdemeanor counts of falsification and aiding a wildlife offender. Zachary Haunert, 31, of Lebanon, faces two misdemeanor counts of aiding a wildlife offender.

The cases are being prosecuted by attorneys from Yost’s Environmental Enforcement section. Indictments merely contain allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proved guilty in a court of law.

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