Scott County Man Charged with 379 Counts of Animal Cruelty

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On Tuesday, June 4, a Scott County man plead not guilty to 379 counts of animal cruelty, class A misdemeanors, and two counts of theft of leased/rented property, class B felonies.

Jay Parker, 42, of Waldron was arrested on Monday, May 20 and released on Tuesday, May 21 on a $10,000 bond.

The charges against Parker go back to December 2017. He, according to the arrest warrant, had agreed to care for cattle out of Midland, TX. As a part of that agreement, Parker allegedly was to provide grass and water. Also, was to purchase feed, hay, vaccinate, work and care for the cattle.

Parker alleges that by the summer of 2018, the cattle were in poor health due to his “management decisions.” As a result, the cows began to die from malnutrition.

According to an affidavit from the Arkansas Department of Agriculture, Parker stated that he was broke when he entered into the agreement and that the first payment of $80,000 he received for supplies, hay and feed, was spent on his personal debt instead of buying feed and hay for the cattle.

The alleged 379 missing head of cattle, according to the affidavit, died on his property or on property he had leased. Authorities allegedly observed several hundred dead cattle on Parker’s property. The affidavit claims the bodies were “in different stages of decomposition…there was no way to get an accurate count due to the number of scavengers scattering bones and some dead cattle stacked on top of each other.”

Brett Dawson, an Information Specialist with the Department of Agriculture, said that they are aware of the case and are working with the authorities.

At Tuesday’s hearing, Parker’s attorney, Derrick Allison, was not present. Judge Jerry Don Ramey set the pretrial hearing for August 6 at 9:30 a.m., and jury trial for August 20 at 9:30 a.m.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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