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Some charges in deer's death dropped

LAWRENCEVILLE — A Gwinnett man was cleared Friday of charges related the bizarre killing of a young deer after an investigation determined he had no hand in the animal’s death.

Stanley Ivy, 42, of Lawrenceville, was arrested earlier this month after Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department staff intercepted postcards with “graphic messages” depicting the deer on a leash, with stab wounds and ultimately dismembered, officials said.

In Ivy’s probable cause hearing Friday, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Cpl. Eric Sanders testified that witnesses led him to believe Ivy’s cousin, Orvie Crawford, 39, killed the deer at his Newton County home, then sent pictures to Ivy via his cell phone.

Sanders said Crawford lassoed the animal in his neighborhood, coaxed it into his garage, then stabbed it to death.

On the postcards to jail, Sanders testified that Ivy took credit for his cousin’s actions.

“I had to break his little neck before he destroyed everything in the garage,” Sanders said one card read, adding that Ivy described himself as “a predator for real.”

Sanders said he found a Facebook posting by Crawford’s wife scorning his actions: “My redneck husband killed the neighborhood deer,” Sanders testified that the post read.

The images, which were not concealed, were addressed to Ivy’s fiancee, Amanda Sparks, a Norcross resident jailed in Gwinnett on drug charges and a probation violation.

Deputies approached Ivy at his probation officer’s office, where he admitted to sending the cards but maintained his cousin had killed the animal. He was initially charged with animal cruelty and unlawful hunting charges.

Crawford was waiting outside the office in his truck. Deputies questioned him and found him in possession of methamphetamine and a .45 caliber handgun near the front seat, officials said.

Ivy has multiple felony convictions, including a 1992 aggravated assault charge, Sanders said.

That being the case, Ivy being within “lunging distance” of a firearm is a felony, a prosecutor argued.

Ivy’s attorney, Michael Kay, said there was no proof he knew the gun was in the truck, but a judge didn’t see it that way.

Magistrate Judge James R. Argo dismissed all charges against Ivy but a felony weapons charge. He was granted a $5,000 bond.

Crawford is charged in Newton County with animal cruelty and hunting violations, Sanders said.