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Man Charged in Slaying of Deer at Scout Camp


A camouflaged man who allegedly snuck into a Yorba Linda Boy Scout Camp, killed a deer with arrows, then cut off the animal's head as a trophy, was charged Thursday with many fish-and-game violations.

A man who accompanied him was charged with a misdemeanor because police say he did not participate in the killing.

The charges stem from an Oct. 11 incident in which Darin Jay Hofmann, 26, of Chino and Eric Martin, 24, of Redlands allegedly roamed through the Firestone Boy Scout Reservation toting compound bows and the head of an eight-point mule deer.

Although it was out of season and the park was off-limits to hunters, the men told a fish and game officer they frequently hunted in the hilly camp. Orange County Deputy Dist. Atty. Nick Thompson said the men also endangered Scouts who may have been hiking or camping in the area and risked traumatizing youths who may have stumbled upon the deer's carcass.

Hofmann will appear in court Friday on charges of felony animal killing, hunting out of season, trespassing and wasting game meat, among others. Martin, charged with a misdemeanor, will appear in court later. Hofmann was convicted in 1988 of a similar game-code violation when he crept onto the property of a Glendora cemetery, captured a swan and broke its neck. Hofmann had just attended a nearby house party and brought the dead bird back and left it on the host's front lawn. Thompson said the defendant had also tossed a dead squirrel into the man's car on an earlier outing and apparently did so because the vehicle owner was opposed to the killing of animals.

"I think this crime is pretty egregious," Thompson said. "Not only does he cast a bad light on hunters who obey the law, but his history is troubling. He appears to kill animals for the sheer pleasure of it."

Neither Hofmann nor Martin could be reached for comment.

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