Case against alleged shark-draggers under pressure

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There was a groundswell of outrage when video of what appeared to be a blacknose shark being dragged behind a speedboat surfaced online.

Three men on the boat were arrested, booked, and charged with animal cruelty.

Months later, the anger has simmered and the state's case is under attack

In May, the charges were dropped against one of the three boaters, Spencer Heintz. Prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence to convict him.

Heintz's attorney, Paul Sisco wasn't surprised.

"What I can tell you is that Mr. Heintz had nothing to do with the dragging of that shark," he said.

Now, Michael Wenzel and Robert Benac are hoping for the same outcome.

A motion filed by the defense says Benac used a speargun to kill the shark, which he says does not break any state laws.

Attorney Courtney Ettel, "the defendants' conduct was in accordance with the rules and regulations that FWC publishes yearly, sometimes twice a year."

Because the defendants were following the state's own rules, the defense argues one of the charges is baseless and should go away.

As FOX 13 reported in March, the crux of the case will likely come down to whether the shark was alive during the dragging.

There is a chance that one or more of the boaters who are not facing charges could flip on the others.

Defense Attorney Anthony Rickman said, "it's essentially my belief that this person will be testifying on behalf of the state and if this individual does testify he may be testifying that that shark was alive and they dragged the shark to kill it."

The case is back in court in August. The judge is expected to rule soon on the motion.