Two Crook County, Wyoming, ranchers who had been accused of bleaching male genitalia and other markings on their neighbor’s cows are no longer facing charges, as the judge didn’t find sufficient evidence to advance the case to the felony-level court.
The property destruction charges against Patrick Sean Carroll, 66, and his son Tucker Kye Carroll, 34, both have been dismissed without prejudice, meaning a prosecutor could bring the charges again if additional evidence compels him.
“After hearing testimony, the Court hereby finds that there is not sufficient probable cause and the matter is hereby dismissed without prejudice,” wrote Sundance Circuit Court Judge Lynda Bush in a court order. Bush’s order came after both Carrolls had a hearing in her court.
Crook County Attorney Joseph Baron, the prosecutor, declined Monday to comment to Cowboy State Daily.
Neither Patrick Sean Carroll nor Tucker Kye Carroll responded immediately Monday morning to Cowboy State Daily voicemails.
The men were originally accused of bleaching penises and other shapes onto the bodies of 189 of their neighbor’s heifers and six of his bulls to get the neighbor’s attention after three years of the cattle crossing onto their land.
The case started June 21 when the cattle’s owner, Philip Habeck, contacted the Crook County Sheriff’s Office to complain about the bleaching, which had allegedly knocked thousands of dollars off the cows’ total value.
An experienced livestock seller estimated each of the bleached animals was worth $500 to $700 less per head. He said after checking with buyers, the cattle that would’ve been worth about $2,600 per head was instead worth about $1,850.
Had the charges not been dropped and the men convicted, they faced up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines for each of two counts of property destruction.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.