Report: Two Illinois Football Players Charged With Theft for Stealing Deer Sculpture

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The two players were charged with theft for stealing a deer sculpture from a park.

Two Illinois football players were charged with theft for allegedly stealing a deer sculpture, according to The News-Gazette.

James Marchese and Drew Murtaugh appeared in Champaign County Circuit Court on Friday after being given notices to appear. They were charged with a single count of theft between $500 and $10,000.

The two players could face penalities ranging from probation to two to five years in prison if convicted.

Marchese told police that he and Murtaugh took the deer sculpture, called “Startled,” from a Champaign park on April 29 while walking home. The two men took the statue home and placed it on the roof of their apartment.

The steel wire sculpture was found after the Champaign Park District received a tip about its location. 

After the sculpture was returned to the park, the artist made modifications to make it harder to move. “Startled” is valued at $5,000.

Marchese, a rising junior linebacker, started in two games last season and had 18 tackles. Murtaugh, also a rising junior, redshirted.

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