Archive for Thursday, December 7, 2000

Eudora teens face charges after shootings

December 7, 2000

A 14-year-old Eudora male allegedly involved in the shootings of 11 head of cattle last week also faces a juvenile accusation of felony aggravated assault against an 11-year-old Eudora youth.

The 14-year-old was in court for a first appearance Tuesday to hear the accusations, which include four misdemeanor charges of cruelty to animals.

A 13-year-old Eudora male was also in court for a first appearance on four misdemeanor juvenile accusations of cruelty to animals. His hearing was closed to the public.

The 14-year-old pled not guilty to all the accusations. He will be detained at his residence upon release until a detention hearing on Jan. 5. He will be required to wear electronic monitors and is limited to attending school and meetings with his attorney. He has been held in Douglas County Youth Services and will remain there until electronic monitors are available.

Part of his release agreement is that he not have contact with his 13-year-old accomplice, his alleged 11-year-old victim, or be around firearms.

Sources say the victim and another youth went to the house of the 13-year-old in the 1400 block of Fir late Thursday afternoon.

A group of boys was there. A gun vault in the house was unlocked and opened. The 14-year-old allegedly pointed a rifle to the victim`s head on three occasions, sources say. The victim tried to leave and was assaulted outside by the accused youth. He then went home and told his parents, who called Eudora police.

Eudora Police Chief Bill Long said the youth were unsupervised when he arrived at the house around 5:50 p.m. Thursday.

On Friday, police were called to a pasture around 3:30 p.m. between the 1400 and 1500 block of Cedar. Three registered longhorn cattle were shot to death and three others were wounded. They were valued at $4,500.

Though six of his cattle were shot, owner Ron DeMott said he was more concerned with the guidance of the youth.

"It`s terrible, but (these) kids are young and they`re headed in the wrong directions," he said.

Wife Julia DeMott first discovered the cattle. She said she was in disbelief that the shootings occurred.

"We`ve had this pasture rented for several years and we`ve never encountered any problems like this over there," she said. "This is a first for us. You can`t help but wonder why anyone would do such a terrible thing."

Saturday morning, police were called to the 1400 block of Fir around 8 a.m. Two registered Black Angus cows were killed and three others were wounded. They were valued at $4,500.

Owner Randy Gorden said he was worried about personal safety after the shootings.

"We`re shocked but we`re also concerned that someone would shoot a firearm in town. We thought we were safe here," Gorden said. "I was out doing chores just right before. Who knows, anyone in town could have been shot by a stray bullet had it ricocheted."

Long said the cattle were shot with a rifle and police believe the shootings occurred last Thursday. Three rifles were taken from the house in the 1400 block of Fir as part of the investigation. Long said it had not yet been determined which of the guns were used in the shootings.

Long said information that led to the boys` arrest for the cattle shootings surfaced during the assault investigation.

"The only connection is we were working the aggravated assault and solved the cattle case too," Long said.

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