United Poultry Concerns September 4, 2003

Men in Bulloch County Georgia Charged in Sadistic Videotaped Chicken Killings
Letters to the Editor Urgently Needed:
Rockdale Citizen and Gwinnett Daily Post (Sister Newspapers in Georgia)

Email letter to Fax: 770-483-5797 Submit via on-line form at:

Email letter to Fax: 770-339-8081

Gwinnett Daily Post has an Associated Press article today titled “Students and Friends Go on Chicken Killing Spree.”

Rockdale Citizen has the following article today:

CONYERS TEENS CHARGED IN CHICKEN KILLINGS by Barbara Knowles, Rockdale Citizen, September 4, 2003

Conyers — Seven Conyers teens were arrested on charges of animal cruelty Sunday night by the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office after they allegedly engaged in a macabre experiment with chickens, using an arsenal of weapons. The seven, four of whom are students at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro and three who are their friends from Rockdale County, apparently decided to see if the old saying about “running around like a chicken with his head cut off,” had any basis in fact.

According to Bulloch County Chief Deputy Gene McDaniel, the group broke into a chicken house and decapitated at least two chickens, capturing the results on videotape. "Here they are breaking into someone’s property in the middle of the night, and this is a malicious act. They’re not killing to eat, they’re killing for fun,” McDaniel said. “Whether it’s chickens, animals or people, there’s just something wrong with folks like that.”

According to McDaniel, deputies were summoned by the owner of Brennen Farm chicken house on Harville Road in Statesboro who told them he had caught several people trespassing. When deputies arrived they found the seven teens and “at least two” chickens with their heads severed. McDaniel said further investigation revealed that three of the offenders came down to Statesboro to visit four of their friends who are students at Georgia Southern. “During this visit, a comment was made referring to ‘chickens running around with their heads chopped off.’ Apparently some of them wondered if that was true. To find out, they obtained a machete, a hatchet and several knives. They drove out into the county where they found the chicken house in which they were caught,” McDaniel said.

“We’ve had chickens killed before when maybe one neighbor would get mad at another neighbor and kill his chickens when they came over on his property,” McDaniel said. “But we’ve never had anything like this to see if they do run around with their heads chopped off. And to videotape it, like they might show this to their friends and get a laugh. I’m not real sure what mental processes are involved with that type of thinking.”

All seven were released on bond following their arrests. The case will be turned over to the Ogeechee Circuit District Attorney’s Office for presentation to the Bulloch County grand jury. According to a reporter with the Statesboro Herald, the university is reviewing disciplinary action for the four students. All seven face multiple criminal charges. McDaniel said his concerns stem from where such acts could lead. “They’re sitting around and come up with this – what’s next?” he said. And the chief deputy has given thought to what an appropriate punishment might be should the seven be convicted. “I’d like to see them put in about 40 hours at a poultry plant and see if it’s that much fun killing chickens for a living,” he said.

Conyers residents arrested and facing various charges are:

• Brennen Lee Hoffman, 18, 3596 Highridge Drive, felony aggravated cruelty to animals, felony burglary, criminal trespass, possession of alcohol by an underage person;
• Richard Martin Gonzalez, 19, 4290 Village Green Circle, aggravated cruelty to animals, burglary, criminal trespass;
• Alejandro Briceno Guillermo, 18, 1615 Hidden Shoals Lane, burglary, cruelty to animals, criminal trespass, possession of alcohol by an underage person;
• Beau Wesley Hamilton, 19, 3860 Eden Glen Drive, burglary, cruelty to animals, criminal trespass, possession of alcohol by an underage person;
• Jacob David Plunkett, 18, 2200 Ebenezer Road, burglary, cruelty to animals, criminal trespass, possession of alcohol by an underage person;
• Natalie Jeannie Ingram, 18, 674 Beacon Cove, burglary, cruelty to animals, criminal trespass;
• Natalie Mae Britt, 1865 Parker Road, burglary, cruelty to animals, criminal trespass.
Hoffman, Guillermo, Hamilton and Plunkett are Georgia Southern students.

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

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