- Associated Press - Thursday, April 2, 2015

ORANGE PARK, Fla. (AP) - A northeast Florida teen charged with animal cruelty after posting videos of her and a friend setting fire to a legally protected gopher tortoise has been deemed not mentally competent to go on trial.

Prosecutors say the woman has been given a conditional release to receive treatment meant to make her mentally competent so she can be tried.

The 18-year-old woman and her 15-year-old friend were arrested last year on charges of felony cruelty to animals and taking, harassing, harming or killing a gopher tortoise, a threatened species.

The Florida Times-Union (https://bit.ly/1NKcUdv ) reports that animal rights activists saw the videos the girls posted and alerted wildlife officials.

The videos showed the girls dousing the animal with a flammable fluid and one of them stomping on the animal until its shell broke.


Information from: The (Jacksonville) Florida Times-Union, https://www.jacksonville.com

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