Town Administrator Deborah Eagan yesterday said MassDEP officials informed the town that recent tests of the water in Well 3 showed no contamination, and the town was tentatively scheduled to reactivate the pump today.
The charges against Kneeland and Masse stem from the belief that the deer they allegedly gutted were not fitted with metal bands that signify they can be hunted and harvested.
Kneeland argued that he obtained the deer from a nearby hunter and that they all had bands at the time of the transfer. But MassDEP officials concluded that the burden of proof was on the last people in contact with the deer, Kneeland and Masse, and not the hunter who allegedly hired them to butcher and dispose of them, according to court documents.
According to the report of Massachusetts Environmental Police Sgt. Michael P. Grady, a Rowley resident informed an environmental police officer on Dec. 2, 2012, of the discovery of deer carcasses behind the pumping station. As environmental police officers searched the area, they found dangling ropes and pullies attached to a board at the roof level and spanning the gap between the two buildings.
Blood was found splattered against at least one wall and on the ground and an orange ladder was discovered at the scene as well. At the back of the pump house, officers found a box covered in blood with Masse’s name on it. Deer carcasses were also found on the other side of the fence behind the pump house.
Officials took photos of the scene and installed two cameras hoping to catch those responsible in the act.
Six days later however, one of the cameras had been tampered with and the rope and pulley system had been removed. The deer carcasses remained behind the station. Entering the station, police found a box containing ropes and pullies and the orange ladder believed to be the same ones spotted a week earlier. Blood and deer hair were also found inside the building, according to police.