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March 5, 2013

Hearing planned Thursday for juveniles charged with theft, death of goat

Four juveniles charged in connection with the theft and beating death of a family’s goat will make their first court appearance Thursday.

Because the four suspects are juveniles, ages 14 to 15, their names cannot be released by law enforcement or court officials. The hearing, however, will be in District Court before Judge Kim Chaney.

A hearing of this type is when the district attorney and lawyers for the juveniles can meet and possibly file motions related to the case. The hearing is also the legal setting for the charges to be clarified.

Because the suspects are juvenile, the hearing will be closed to the public.

The juveniles are accused of stealing the six-month old goat from a family in the West Point area. After the goat was taken, the pet was bound with tape and slammed to the ground and dropped several times from an overpass into a shallow creek bed.

Investigators with the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office were alerted to the incident after a video of the goat’s death was shared with students in the area. Officials with the sheriff’s office reviewed the video and charged the teens with felony theft of property and misdemeanor cruelty to animals.

One investigator described the video as “horrific” because of the violence inflicted on the goat.

The crime occurred at a small bridge at the intersection of County Roads 1216 and 1218, not far from the owners’ home. Investigators have not determined a motive for the crimes.

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David Palmer may be contacted at dpalmer@cullmantimes.com or 256-734-2131, ext. 213.

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