SUSPECTS ARRESTED FOR SHOOTING CATTLE HERD
Two men suspected of killing 10 Black Angus cows in Shelby County have been arrested. Timothy Lynn Blankenship, 32, of Vincent and Johnathan Earl Baker, 28, of Columbiana, are charged with two counts each of killing or disabling livestock in connection with the shootings.
Blankenship and Baker were released from the Shelby County Jail on a $20,000 bond each, according to a release from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Charges for both suspects stem from a July 2012 case in Wilsonville where the cows were shot and killed in two days.
Agents for Alabama’s Agricultural & Rural Crime Unit (ARCU) working with the Shelby County Sheriff and District Attorney offices made the arrests last week.
The ARCU, along with the Lauderdale County Sheriff and District Attorney offices, also made an agricultural-related arrest in an unrelated case and are searching for another suspect.
Darryl Wade Paulk, 31, of Florence was arrested Aug. 21 by the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department and charged with first-degree theft of property and tampering with physical evidence. He was released later that day on a $6,000 bond. The arrest was made in connection with a stolen stock trailer he attempted to sell for scrap metal.
A warrant has been issued for another suspect in the case, Bill Ray Foster, 40, of Florence, who is charged with first-degree theft of property.
The ARCU partners with local law enforcement to investigate agriculture and rural crimes including theft of farm animals and farm equipment, fraud and agroterrorism. The ARCU unit is composed of 10 state investigators from four state agencies; the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency; the Alabama Department of Public Safety; the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and the Department of Agriculture.
To report a Rural Crime or report suspicious activity, call 1-855-75CRIME.