An 18-year-old Fresno man was handcuffed in court Wednesday and sentenced to 120 days in jail for clubbing 925 chickens to death last year.
Superior Court Judge Don Penner also ordered Gabriel Quintero to enroll in anger management and drug treatment programs and to take mental health counseling once he is out of jail.
Quintero also has to pay Foster Farms $4,620 for the dead chickens.
In announcing the punishment, Penner said Quintero confessed to being drunk when he and three juveniles killed the chickens.
The judge also said Quintero told a court-ordered psychologist “he’s ashamed and embarrassed for the stupid, senseless crime.”
Despite Quintero’s remorse, Penner said the crime was disturbing. “They killed the chickens for no apparent reason. What would motivate anyone to commit such an offense?”
A jail sentence was appropriate, Penner said, because Quintero had no prior criminal record. He also said the jail sentence was part of a plea agreement after Quintero pleaded no contest in January to felony charges of animal cruelty and burglary.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said Quintero and two boys, ages 15 and 17, from Caruthers and a 17-year-old boy from Lemoore broke into a Foster Farms chicken shed in Caruthers and used a golf club and other weapons to kill the chickens on Sept 20.
After Foster Farms offered a reward, information about the case spread on social media, and sheriff’s detectives were able to arrest the suspects about 10 days after the chickens were killed.
Quintero was booked into Fresno County Jail and released on $12,500 bail. The juveniles were taken to the Juvenile Justice Center, south of Fresno, where they faced similar charges. Because they are minors, the juveniles weren’t identified and their court proceedings were kept confidential.