By Larry Briscoe
Two males in their late teens were arrested early Monday evening on charges of cruelty to animals in connection with the clubbing deaths of pet potbelly pigs earlier that day.
The clubbing deaths of the pigs set off widespread community disgust Monday morning and started an investigation into their killing.
The animals of Tracy and Debbie Travers were clubbed to death overnight at their property on County Road 3616 off Northshore Road between Quinlan and West Tawakoni.
The Travers were incredulous the atrocity had occurred.
Tracy Travers said they had lived here for the past 12 years, and nothing like that had ever happened before.
Mrs. Travers said she could not imagine who could have done it or why as they had good relations with everyone.
A nearby property owner, Bill Slaughter, was walking early Monday morning with a neighbor when he discovered two of the pigs dead just north of a pond on the property located in the 9900 block of County Road 3616.
“When we came back, I saw the third one nearest the south fence toward their home,” Slaughter said. “Mr. Joe Campesi and I noted that the fence posts knobs had been knocked off with something like a bat. That’s when I called Tracy.”
Slaughter’s golf cart was recently stolen from his home and driven into a pond across the road from the Travers’ property. “I think it might have been the same ones that stole my golf cart, because they rammed Tracy’s fence with my golf cart, and I theorize they were trying to get inside the area and chase the pigs. However, the gate didn’t break down. Tracy also informed me that a fourth one of the hogs was found in the pond.”
Hunt County Sheriff’s deputies and Constable Kent Layton’s office taped the area off as a crime scene and undertook an investigation with the Travers couple at the scene.
Two emus and a goat were apparently not harmed.
Later Monday afternoon, Tracy Travers and others located tracks leading to a residence in the next addition over and contacted officers, according to Constable Kent Layton.
Layton said investigators accompanied Travers to a residence where one of the teens ran out the back door. He said Travers was aware something was happening and noticed him running and was able to tackle him before he got away.
The constable said the teen confessed that he and another teen at the same house were responsible for the killings.
Both were arrested and booked in at the Hunt County Jail at about 7 p.m., Layton said.
Two pieces of pipe and a baseball were recovered as well, the constable said.
Hunt County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Rick McDonald said the sheriff’s office was notified at approximately 9:51 a.m. Monday by Constable Layton that there had been four potbelly pigs killed and that he was with the owners of the animals.
“Deputies N. Floyd, B. Vose and S. Green were dispatched to the scene,” McDonald said. “Upon arrival, deputies found the remains of four adult potbelly pigs in their pasture. The animals had apparently been beaten and stabbed to death. One of the four pigs was found dead in a pond on the property.”
Investigators J. Gibson and K. Phillips were dispatched to the scene to assist in the investigation.
McDonald said the investigators believed that the animals were beaten with some type of club. Also located at the scene were unidentified shoe prints.
“Neighbors in the area reported to investigators that two people were seen walking into a residence, and one of the men was alleged to have been wearing face paint,” McDonald said. “Investigators made contact with these persons. Upon examining their shoe prints, it was believed they were a match to those in the pasture. Upon speaking with the two people, they told investigators that they were involved in the deaths of the pigs. Subsequently, they were arrested and charged with the offense of cruelty to livestock animals.”
They were booked into the Hunt County Jail on the state jail felony charge.
“The two men have been identified as 18-year-old Jerred Lynn Ferrell of Quinlan and 19-year-old Larry Glen Nichols, also of Quinlan,” McDonald said. “Bail has been set for each of them at $5,000. Charges will be filed with the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office.”
Two Jailed For Animal Cruelty
By Larry Briscoe