State News

College students plead guilty to dumping bear on campus

Posted March 10, 2009

— Two Western Carolina University students have pleaded guilty to charges related to dumping a dead bear with Barack Obama signs on its head on campus.

Marvin Caleb Williams and Mathew Colton Williams were sentenced Tuesday on to two years of unsupervised probation for misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and wildlife violations. They are also banned from the university property.

Marvin Williams was 20 years when he was arrested and his brother was 18.

Maintenance workers found the 75-pound bear cub in front of the school's administration building in October. Obama campaign yard signs were stapled together and placed over the bear's head.

Western Carolina University authorities said at the time that the incident was a student prank, not a political statement.



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  • Rolling Along Mar 10, 2009

    In the original story (which if WRAL was doing it's job they COULD reference) the bear cub was found dead and they decided to haul it to the WCU campus. FWIW it was a prank, poor taste, but a prank.

  • lizard Mar 10, 2009

    Dead bears are common in that part of the state.

    In Cary too, if they come in my yard.

  • Justabum Mar 10, 2009

    In the original reports of this we also learned that the Obama sign was used to place in the bed of their truck so the animal's blood wouldn't leak onto the truck. Mostly what we saw was a silly, and harmless, prank which some of the ihatebush crowd attempted to twist into something that it wasn't. Typical of that bunch.

  • Justabum Mar 10, 2009

    Who was hurt by their dragging a dead animal onto the campus?

  • npggirl Mar 10, 2009

    retract....unsure if they 'hurt' the bear...
    I guess I should not jump to conclusions, however either way...this is rediculous

  • npggirl Mar 10, 2009

    No really. This is rediculous! First hurting an innocent animal, then putting Barak signs on its head?
    What immature actions. What do 'some' parents teach kids these days?

  • didisaythat Mar 10, 2009

    Hard to relate this incident to the VT incident. They hauled a dead bear onto campus. They didn't, as far as I can tell, kill it or have a gun on where is the connection. Not saying they shouldn't get in trouble.

  • devilblue Mar 10, 2009

    I do hope they did not kill the bear and quite frankly this was not in the least bit humorous or cute. What would have been cute is for the mother bear to have chased them around campus!!!

  • m123 Mar 10, 2009


  • Justabum Mar 10, 2009

    I'm pretty sure that I remember from the original reports on this that the brothers did not kill the bear but found it already dead and hauled it to the campus as a prank.