An 18-year-old Fresno man who used a golf club to slaughtered more than 900 chickens last September pleaded no contest Tuesday to felony charges of animal cruelty and burglary.
Gabriel Quintero likely will get probation when he is sentenced in Fresno County Superior Court on March 4, authorities said.
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 chicken shed in Caruthers and used a golf club or similar weapon to kill the chickens on Sept 20.
Foster Farms, the owner of the shed, estimated the damage at $5,000 and offered a reward. Information about the case spread on social media, and detectives with the sheriff’s agriculture task force broke the case. The suspects were arrested about 10 days after the chickens were slaughtered.
Quintero was booked into the Fresno County Jail and released on $12,500 bail. The juveniles were taken to the Juvenile Justice Center, south of Fresno, where they faced the same charges as Quintero. Because they are minors, their court proceedings were confidential.
Prosecutors say sheriff’s reports indicated that Quintero had been drinking when he and the others decided to kill the chickens.