TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - The disturbing video outraged many on social media: Footage of a black tip shark being dragged behind a speedboat to the amusement of several boaters. Now, new video obtained exclusively by FOX 13 shows the cruelty didn't end there.
The three men faced animal cruelty charges; however, charges were dropped against one defendant, Spencer Heintz, earlier this year.
In February, Michael Wenzel took a deal and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges in exchange for 10 days in jail.
But the third defendant, Robert Benac, passed on that same deal and will go to trial.
Justin Petredis, Benac's attorney, told FOX the shark was shot by Wenzel first and towed afterward. Petredis says these facts are not in dispute by the state or the defense. He added, "Mr. Benac did not have prior knowledge that the shark would be shot."
And now, new video obtained by FOX 13 shows the shark being shot by Wenzel.
Defense attorney Anthony Rickman, who is not involved in the trial, reviewed the video for FOX 13.
"We hear people in the background cheering him on, 'Shoot it again, shoot it again,'" Rickman said. "And what's disturbing is the reaction of that animal thrashing in pain, jumping up and down the first time it's shot."
Prosecutors intend to show the jury that the shark was dragged first, then shot by Wenzel.
"What we have on this video is a shark that's clearly alive, a shark that's clearly affected by the shooting, affected by the shots that were fired into its body," Rickman said.
By passing on the state's deal for 10 days in jail, Benac could face 10 years in prison if he's found guilty of the charges at trial.
Rickman believes Benac may regret passing on the plea deal.
"A picture speaks a thousand words. This one speaks one: 'Guilty,'" Rickman said. "When you look at that video, that's what a jury is going to be asked to do."
Benac's trial is set for September.
Editor's note: This version of the story has been updated with comments from Petredis.