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Group accused of torturing animals: 'A gruesome scene'

Posted at 11:05 AM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 11:02:06-04

SPOTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. -- Four people were arrested and charged with multiple counts of maiming animals connected to alleged violence at a Spotsylvania home involving dogs, goats, and a spiked baseball bat.

Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s were called to a home on Heather Greens Circle on June 18 to investigate claims of animal abuse.

"The caller explained that the individuals living at the address were letting their dogs attack goats and that they were abusing the goats with a bat," a spokesperson for the sheriff's office wrote in an email.

The suspects told investigators the goats in question were no longer on the property, the sheriff's spokesperson said.

"Charles McKinney, claimed the homeowner, Halie Morgan, had two goats, but that she found out she was not allowed to have them in the neighborhood. [McKinney] claimed that someone had picked up the goats that morning. Upon further investigation, that was found to be far from the truth," the spokesperson's email continued. "The property was searched, and the goats were found deceased on the property."

Investigators said they recovered video that showed four people abusing and killing the two goats.

"Halie was witnessed on the video, encouraging her two large dogs to attack the goats. The dogs were seen barking and chasing the goats around the back yard where the goats were contained," the email continued. "Andrew Haefele, used a large bat with spikes to strike the goat(s) as they ran by him. The animals appeared to be beaten with not only this bat, but also a sharper weapon which appears to be a large machete."

Investigators said the video showed McKinney appearing to cut the goat's neck.

"The video depicted a gruesome scene in which the goats ultimately died," the spokesperson's email continued. "When the animals were found by deputies of Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office- Animal Control later that day, the goats were found under objects, not in plain view, as if hidden. Both goats could be seen with traumatic injuries, specifically to the neck area."

The investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

Anyone with information was asked to call 1-800-928-5822 or 1-540-582-5822.

The four suspects and charges are:

Andrew Haefele
Maim an animal x2
Conspire to maim x2
False identify to Law Enforcement

Andrew Haefele.jpeg
Andrew Haefele

Charles McKinney
Maim an animal x2
Conspire to maim x2
False information to Law Enforcement

Charles McKinney.jpeg
Charles McKinney

Donald Compton
Maim an animal x2
Conspire to maim x2
Receive or transfer stolen property
False information of Law Enforcement

DONALD COMPTON JR.jpg
Donald Compton

Halie Morgan
Maim an animal x2
Conspire to maim x2
Cause or permit animal cruelty x2

Halie Morgan.jpeg
Halie Morgan