Crook County, Wyoming ranchers, accused of bleaching male genitalia and other markings on their neighbor’s cows, are no longer being prosecuted. The judge found insufficient evidence to proceed with felony charges.
Patrick Sean Carroll, 66, and his son Tucker Kye Carroll, 34, had the property destruction charges dismissed without prejudice. This means that if additional evidence emerges, the charges could be refiled by the prosecutor.
Sundance Circuit Court Judge Lynda Bush ruled that there was not enough probable cause following a hearing in her court. “After hearing testimony, the Court hereby finds that there is not sufficient probable cause and the matter is hereby dismissed without prejudice,” stated the court order.
Crook County Attorney Joseph Baron declined to comment to Cowboy State Daily regarding the case No immediate response was received from Patrick Sean Carroll or Tucker Kye Carroll when Cowboy State Daily attempted to contact them.
The men were initially accused of bleaching 189 of their neighbor’s heifers and six of his bulls, incorporating penises and other shapes into the animals’ bodies to gain attention after a three-year issue with the cattle crossing onto their land.
The case began on June 21 when Philip Habeck, the owner of the cattle, reported the bleaching to the Crook County Sheriff’s Office. The alleged bleaching resulted in a decrease in the total value of the cows, estimated by an experienced livestock seller to be between $500 to $700 per head. Instead of being valued at around $2,600 per head, the cattle were worth approximately $1,850 after consulting with buyers.
If convicted, the men could have faced up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines for each of the two counts of property destruction had the charges not been dropped.