Charges Refiled Against Wyoming Ranchers For Bleaching Penis Shapes Onto Cows

After a judge dismissed his earlier attempt at the case, a Crook County prosecutor is re-filing charges against two Wyoming ranchers accused of bleaching penis shapes onto their neighbor’s cows. This time there’s more evidence of lost value.

Clair McFarland

February 22, 20244 min read

Longhorn cattle graze a pasture near Devils Tower in northeast Wyoming.
Longhorn cattle graze a pasture near Devils Tower in northeast Wyoming. (Adobe Stock)

After a judge dropped his first attempt at the case last year, Crook County’s prosecutor has now re-filed property destruction charges against a Wyoming father and son accused of bleaching penis shapes onto their neighbor’s cows. 

Crook County Attorney Joseph Barron re-filed his case against Patrick Sean Carroll and his son Tucker Kye Carroll last month. The pair were scheduled to appear in court last week, but now are rescheduled for a March 19 hearing. 

An Aug. 29, 2023, affidavit in the first case that was dropped alleged that the Carrolls bleached 195 of their neighbor’s cows last June because they were annoyed that their neighbor didn’t do enough to help when his cows would cross repeatedly onto the Carrolls’ ranch. 

The number includes 189 heifers and six bulls. 

Some of the bleached images were of male genitalia, the case affidavit says. 

Sundance Circuit Court Judge Lynda Bush dismissed that first case Oct. 6 after she heard testimony on it. She ruled there wasn’t probable cause to pursue the felony-level charges. But she dismissed the case “without prejudice,” meaning the prosecutor could bring it again if there was additional evidence. 

The Additional Evidence

The additional evidence appears to be a more calculated analysis of what the neighbor, Philip Habeck, allegedly lost by having his cows bleached. 

While the Aug. 29 affidavit included interviews with both Patrick Sean and Tucker Kye Carroll in which both allegedly admitted to bleaching the cows to get Habeck’s attention, it did not contain as detailed a cost analysis as the new affidavit does. 

Aided by the passage of time and retrospect, the new affidavit hinges its claims on the cost of keeping the heifers through the winter and helping them calve, rather entirely on their alleged decrease in value from being bleached.

As of Nov. 17, Habeck had not sold the bleached heifers though he would have otherwise, says the new affidavit. 

He avoided selling them because their markings drove their value down by about $2,600 each, allegedly. 

Bleach can be used to signify defects or other oddities in cattle. 

“The heifers having bleached markings raises concerns to buyers not just because of the looks of the heifers, but because of the risk of the unknown,” Crook County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Alex Jessen wrote in the new affidavit. 

Multiple ranchers who heard about the bleaching incident contacted Habeck or cattle-seller Rusty Williamson, offering to buy the marked heifers at “drastically reduced prices,” the document says. 

The affidavit alleges further that the extra dip through the cattle chute and the bleaching process could have added stress to pregnant heifers and compromised the health of their pregnancies. 

Costs Of Wintering Cattle

Habeck decided to keep the heifers until this spring, when their hair would be back to normal and the pregnant ones would have given birth. 

The new affidavit figures up the extra costs of their extended stay on the ranch including feed, vet care and other costs.

The cost of “working” the cattle to round them up and photograph them for the investigation last July was reportedly $5,160. 

Two independent cattle feeders, one from Wyoming and one from South Dakota, gave the investigator quotes for the time, investment, labor and other costs of the extended term of care for the heifers and their new calves through early June 2024.

That figure includes $4,724 for another month of grazing pasture, $103,761 for feeding 189 heifers for another 183 days from Dec. 1 through June 1, and $28,350 for calving costs, for a total of $136,836 in winter and spring care costs, according to the affidavit. 

Same Charges

While the evidence is more protracted and detailed, the charges are the same. 

Barron charged each Carroll with one count of felony property destruction and another of conspiracy to commit property destruction. He also charged Tucker Kye Carroll once again with a third count, of aiding in felony property destruction. Each charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. 

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter