TEXARKANA, Texas —Two men are facing felony charges for allegedly shooting a Bowie County rancher's pregnant cow for sport while "drinking heavily" and "driving backroads" in September.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Jedidiah Timothy Tadlock, 29, and Hunter Alexander Sinyard, 22, allegedly confessed to the crime after being confronted by Texas Game and Fish wardens and a Special Ranger with the Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association commissioned by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The pregnant cow was found by her owner Sept. 20 in a ditch along County Road 2302 and had gunshot wounds to her head, neck and torso. Two .45 caliber shell casings, a pair of jumper cables with broken ends, an empty can of light beer and a man's watch were found near the deceased bovine.
Within days of the shooting of the pregnant cow, local game wardens began receiving tips through the "Operation Game Thief" tipline that Sinyard had allegedly spoken of shooting the livestock. Game wardens reviewed the rancher's security camera footage and identified a late model four-door pickup in the area at 3:40 a.m. and 4:22 a.m. on the same day the rancher discovered the cow's remains.
When the investigators went Sept. 27 to interview Sinyard at his home in Texarkana, they noticed a white four-door Chevy truck in the driveway. Sinyard allegedly admitted that he and Tadlock had used his .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol to shoot the pregnant cow while "drinking heavily" and "driving backroads."
"Hunter Sinyard stated they both shot the cow several times, emptying one magazine and changing to another magazine," the affidavit states. "Hunter Sinyard stated that after killing the cow, they attempted to drag it into the road with a pair of jumper cables, but the cables broke. Hunter stated that he gave the pistol to Tadlock after shooting the cow because he was scared and did not want the pistol anymore."
While in the presence of game wardens and the special ranger, Sinyard allegedly called Tadlock and told him that he had told "everything" to law enforcement. Tadlock agreed to meet a game warden the night of Sept. 27 in the parking lot of the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston and turn over Sinyard's pistol. Tadlock reportedly gave a videotaped interview confirming Sinyard's account and during which he admitted the man's watch found near the cow was his.
Sinyard and Tadlock appeared March 2 before 5th District Judge Bill Miller for pre-indictment hearings on charges of felony criminal mischief. Both defendants are represented by Texarkana lawyer Darren Anderson. Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter said the case has been referred to the Bowie County grand jury for possible indictment. The felony criminal mischief charge the men currently face is a third-degree felony punishable by two to 10 years in prison in the event of a conviction.
In the absence of prior felony convictions, the men could be eligible to receive probation and restitution to the rancher for the loss of the pregnant cow could be ordered.