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Justin Cade DeLoach, of Bunnell, has been formally charged with killing or aggravated abuse of horse or cattle, a second-degree felony.
According to a charging affidavit, around 2:30 p.m. Oct. 26, a Bunnell resident heard gunfire near his house and, when he went outside to investigate, discovered that his cows were missing from his property.
The resident went to the northeast corner of his yard and saw that the gate into his property was open. He saw his cows walking toward him, bleeding from the face, back legs and sides of their bodies from numerous wounds.
The resident’s neighbor told him that a man living down the street — DeLoach — shot the cows with what looked like a shotgun. When police responded, she completed a voluntary written statement as a witness, saying that the cows were on DeLoach’s property, but did not appear to be causing any damage.
Investigations found that six cows in total were injured. Two of them had injuries to their faces, causing swelling around their eyes. One of them had an injury to its back leg, causing limping. Three had injuries to their sides.
A veterinarian come to his house the following day and said the cow’s injuries will both delay their time of slaughter and will significantly affect the worth of their meat at that time.
Deputies tried unsuccessfully to contact DeLoach at his home. However, DeLoach later provided a voluntary written statement, saying that the cows busted through his fence onto his property and ate all of his horse feed.
DeLoach said he tried to chase the cows off his property, but was unsuccessful, so he retrieved his shotgun and fired birdshots into the air to scare the cows away. DeLoach said he’s been dealing with the cows coming onto his property for years.