Four charged with abusing goats in Spotsylvania after authorities find video showing ‘gruesome scene’

Crime

SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Authorities in Spotsylvania County said Monday that four people have been charged in connection with a cell phone video allegedly showing them abusing and killing two goats.

The Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office received a tip on June 18 that the individuals living at a home on Heather Greens Circle allowed their dogs to attack goats that they were abusing with a bat. A video related to the incident was recovered after an investigation and individuals at the residence were questioned by the sheriff’s office.

Investigators were told that the goats were no longer on the property and one man, identified as Charles McKinney, said that the homeowner, Halie Morgan, had two goats but learned that she was not allowed to have them and another man had picked them up. The sheriff’s office said they conducted a search of the property and found the bodies of the goats “under objects, not in plan view, as if hidden.”

Video evidence was found on the phone of Donald Compton Jr., a man who recorded the incident, showing four individuals involved in the abuse and death of the goats. According to the sheriff’s office, Morgan was seen on video “encouraging her two large dogs to attack the goats.” In the video, the dogs were seen chasing the goats around the area they were contained and one man, identified as Andrew Haefele, hitting the goats with a large bat with spikes as they ran by him.

“The animals appeared to be beaten with not only this bat, but also a sharper weapon which appears to be a large machete,” the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office said in a release. McKinney appears to use an object to cut the neck of one of the goats “as it laid on the ground suffering” in the video, authorities said.

“Both goats could be seen with traumatic injuries, specifically to the neck area,” the release continued. “The goats were collected and sent for necropsy due to the injuries, and investigation.”

Haefele, 36, was charged with two counts of maiming an animal, two counts of conspiring to maim and giving a false identity to law enforcement. McKinney, 34, was also charged with two counts of maiming an animal, two counts of conspiring to maim and giving false information to law enforcement.

Compton, 35, was charged with two counts of maiming an animal, two counts of conspiring to maim, receiving or transferring stolen property and giving false information to law enforcement. Morgan, 22, was charged with two counts of maiming an animal, two counts of conspiring to maim and two counts of causing or permitting animal cruelty.

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