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Two more arrested in slaying of animals

JOHNSON NEWSPAPERS
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CHAZY — As a two-county investigation into the fatal shootings of farm animals continues, state police in Chazy have arrested two more people, including a teen from Chateaugay, where one of the incidents took place. This brings the arrest total to four.


Alexander Decoteau, 16, was charged with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor under state Agriculture and Markets Law. He is accused in the deaths last week of sheep and a llama on land owned by farmer Kirby Selkirk, Chateaugay, and of a cow in Clinton County.


"I have no idea who he is," Mr. Selkirk said Thursday. "He has no connection to us and must have just gotten caught up in this. We were targets of opportunity."


Troopers also arrested Randy A. Goodchild, 25, Ellenburg, on Wednesday night and charged him with cruelty to animals. He also was charged with three counts of unlawfully dealing with a child and one count of endangering the welfare of a child.


Earlier Wednesday, state police arrested 16-year-old Brian D. Cole of Clinton and 17-year-old Alex R. Hough of Mooers Forks. Mr. Cole is charged with third-degree criminal mischief and cruelty to animals. Mr. Hough is charged with cruelty to animals.


The four are accused of shooting to death a cow on Spear Hill Road in Ellenburg early last Friday, then driving to Chateaugay and shooting sheep in a pen and a llama owned by Mr. Selkirk and his wife, Jo Ellen Saumier. Armand and Brenda LaBombard owned the cow, reportedly worth $1,200.


Two sheep were missing from the Selkirks' pasture while one was shot and another was injured so badly it had to be euthanized. Pepe, the llama, purchased as a guard animal to ward off coyotes, was valued at about $500.


"It was just wanton destruction. Sixteen-year-olds, running around at 3:30 in the morning with guns — it's a very scary thing," Mr. Selkirk said. "Killing the llama was just senseless. We raise the sheep to eat. We know they will die, but this was vicious, senseless slaughter."


State police also are investigating the shooting death of a pet llama nearly three weeks ago in Westville.


Anyone with information on these cases can call state police at (518) 483-5000.

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