Boy Pleads Guilty To Killing Farm Animals

12-Year-Old To Be Held In Juvenile Facility For 18-36 Months

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A 12-year-old boy pleaded guilty Wednesday to animal cruelty, burglary and trespassing for attacking and killing five farm animals and mutilating several others at an Orange Park farm.

The boy was found delinquent and will be held in a maximum-risk juvenile facility for 18-36 months, then will be placed on probation after his release until his 21st birthday.

He will perform 100 hours of community service, attend school regularly, undergo psychiatric evaluation and treatment as recommended, take all medications and have no contact with the owner of the animals or any animals, a judge ordered.

The boy must also pay restitution to the owner.

"We got a little bit of justice for some of the animals today," said Donald Hoilman, who owns the stables where the animals were abused.

The boy was accused of severing two horses legs, causing their deaths, attacking three goats, causing one's death, and decapitating two chickens in two separate attacks at the stables at 320 Tanglewood Blvd. in July. Investigators said the boy stabbed another horse and broke the legs of the other two goats, all of which survived.

Deputies described the crime as one of the most heinous animal cruelty cases they've ever seen in Clay County.

"You went up to them and all you could see was their legs dangling on by their skin," Hoilman said. "Their legs were beat out from under them. It was just a mess. It was a big mess."

Investigators said the boy used a butcher knife, golf clubs and metal pipes to bludgeon, slash and stab the farm animals.

A few days after the abuse, neighbors saw the boy running from the stables, deputies said. The boy was later arrested.

Investigators said the boy was angry about something, though they don't know what, and they said he took out his anger on the animals.