Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Man arrested in connection with death of horse

From page A1 | July 10, 2013 | 44 Comments

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A man was arrested July 3 in connection with the January death of a horse in Rescue.

An investigation was launched after Trumpet, a 35-year-old Arabian Gelding, was found impaled on a pointed rod fence in the Jay Hawk Cemetery, across the street from High Heart Ranch where the horse was stabled, the Mountain Democrat previously reported. The horse, it was believed, was stolen from the ranch and died while under control of whomever stole it.

The rescue community put up flyers and a large metal reward poster at the cemetery. The tips that came from the community, a press release said, helped investigators close the case.

On May 16, an unrelated investigation began after reports of horse theft and sexual assault on a horse were made. Bryon Baker, 56, a transient from the Cameron Park and Rescue areas, was identified by multiple witnesses. Investigators linked him to the death of Trumpet.

A probation search of Baker’s motor home on July 3 led to the seizure of items of evidence connecting Baker to both incidents. Baker was subsequently arrested on charges of grand theft of a horse, cruelty to animals causing suffering and/or death, attempted theft of a second horse and sexual assault on the second horse.

Christine Hightower, Trumpet’s owner, gave her overview of the case in an e-mail to the Mountain Democrat: “In the early morning hours of Jan. 30, 2013, between 2 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., Trumpet was lured out of the safety and security of his barn, at High Heart Ranch. He was then led across the street to the Jay Hawk Cemetery where he was terrified, tortured and killed by the man arrested by (El Dorado County Sheriff’s deputies) on July 3, 2013.”

An effort was made to find the person responsible. “Reward signs and posters were prepared, purchased and distributed solely by Bill and Becky Carpenter of Merritt Construction, Inc.” The Carpenters and Lyndell and Darria Deatherage of Deatherage Construction donated the money for a reward. They were also solely responsible for distributing the flyers and posters, which, along with the “unyielding efforts of Detective Netashia Gallagher,” led to Baker’s arrest.

Hightower wrote, “From the road, Trumpet’s killer was able to watch him grazing on the Heart-Shaped Pasture during the days and through the lighted barn windows, during the night. Trumpet’s killer was unnaturally obsessed with his beauty and presence and acted with complete abandonment of all that is good and natural. Trumpet was killed by a sexual deviant who committed multiple acts of violence and cruelty on one of God’s most beloved creatures, a kind and gentle horse.”

The arrest does little to ease Hightower’s mind, but is at least a first step towards grieving and recovery.

“The arrest will not erase the permanent scarring in my mind, left from the images of Trumpet’s tortured body,” she wrote. “The arrest will not erase my personal knowledge of what and how he suffered. I will carry the burden of those memories to my grave. That said, and God willing, this arrest will start me on the road to recovering peace of mind for the safety and security of my home and beloved animals.”

She would prefer to remember better times. “I do not want Trumpet to be remembered for what he suffered but for the wonderful life he lived here at High Heart Ranch, for over 30 years,” she said.

Trumpet was retired from trail riding for about four years, due to his age. “His daily activities consisted of grazing on his Heart-Shaped Pasture and to greeting and comforting the many lost, roaming and neglected animals that came to his barn from EDC Animal Services for care, comfort and protection,” Hightower stated. Some of the impounds included a baby pig, Newt, and a baby sheep, Bobbi. Trumpet, Hightower wrote, would stand guard while the smaller animals napped in the pasture. The horse would lead the other animals out, encouraging them to graze in the pasture.

“I knew that he would be leaving us soon but was ready, when that time came, to stand with him and stay with him, until his spirit passed ‘gently and sweetly,’” she mused. “I was denied the privilege of ‘standing with him’ and for that my heart will be forever broken.”

Contact Cole Mayer at 530-344-5068 or Follow @CMayerMtDemo.


Discussion | 44 comments

  • 1036-FrankJuly 09, 2013 - 4:40 pm

    Another one of these sick, depraved, loose revolving door felons out working on their next prison sentence, probably lived off welfare and SSI as well. There are simple reasons why a rope and a stout tree cured a lot of outlaws in the old days like this debris. People should take notice as these loose felons are all around living in vehicles, camping illegally, trespassing on private land and hiding in parking lots in plain sight. The CDC is busy trying to release another 10 thousand due to court order from liberal judges not liking them locked up and the growing danger will increase ten fold. This is why people should be prepared and have their powder dry at all times.

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  • Dee#1July 10, 2013 - 9:07 pm

    Frank, we always call that life on the installment plan

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  • CherylJuly 10, 2013 - 5:42 pm

    I would like to offer my services to chop this guy's testicles off with my garden shears. No anesthesia of course.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 10, 2013 - 6:48 pm

    Cheryl, Duly noted. I have no pets. I try to keep my family happy. I like children. I feed hummingbirds.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 10, 2013 - 6:48 pm


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  • James E.July 10, 2013 - 7:02 pm

    Phil, I also feed hummingbirds (little helicopters) in the front and back of my house. It would be nice if you would rescue one little dog -- they say a dog will protect you from a heart attack and strangers invading your home. Well, bark a lot.

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  • James E.July 10, 2013 - 7:06 pm

    Give this guy a quick trial, and if found guilty, impale him on a pointed rod fence. I have long thought that appropriate punishment for an animal abuser is to give them, with no mercy, the same treatment they gave the animal. The word would quickly get out. Impaled on a pointed rod fence is so, so, appropriate.

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  • James E.July 10, 2013 - 8:09 pm

    And that little dog barking will protect you because burglars, serial killers, and government types doing black bag jobs want peace and quiet. They don't want dogs bringing attention to their presence. They do their best work when dogs are not present.

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  • Lennie RobertzJuly 10, 2013 - 8:31 pm

    7 months till arrested?? how much more harm was done elsewhere?

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  • R J CarterJuly 10, 2013 - 8:42 pm

    Col. the President of the Black Panthers King Shamir Shabazz says they are now "mobilizing in case Zimmerman is acquitted" and they will "be going out into the suburbs to let Whitey feel the pain"....Just wondering if your dog Fred protect you from your fellow Obama voters???..LOL..

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  • James E.July 10, 2013 - 9:59 pm

    R.J., I think Zimmerman will be acquitted. Guilty beyond a reasonable doubt is just not there. However, you never know with a jury. I think Mr. Fred (short for Fred Mertz) and Ricky (short for Ricky Ricardo) will protect me. If that line of defense falls, I always have my pistol and lots of dum dum bullets. And if the Black Panthers do go out into the suburbs to let Whitey feel the pain, it's the Black Panthers who will be feeling the pain from law enforcement.

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  • Witness to the crimeJuly 11, 2013 - 1:26 am

    Thing about this...he would have been caught in May if it weren't for the sheriff that came out when I called to report this man doing things to a horse right in front of Denny's in CP...the sheriff was so lazy he let the man go even though I made a report stating what he was trying to do and the fact that he attempted 3xs to untie and steal the horse. The owner of the horse also told the sheriff he wanted to press charges but the sheriff said "The man is really intoxicated and I sent him home"....the man lived about 1/2 mile away and he let him walk free...he literally refused to take a statement and arrest the man. Maybe they should also investigate this sheriff and expose him. -angry citizen

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  • Stephanie TaylorJuly 11, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    Was it the homeless guy's horse he was trying to untie in front of Denny's in Cameron Park? He's the only guy I know that rides and ties his horses in this area. I've called the Sheriff's on that lady who burns her poor dogs feet on the hot asphalt and ties it in the sun letting it whine and cry and they never show up. I don't think that the patrol officers care too much about animals in this county...low priority. Thank Goodness you called....don't stop, no matter how many times the Sheriff's put these incidents on the back burner.

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 8:09 am

    James, PMSnbc employs a professional racist that calls itself Toure. I cannot determine a gender, I am not certain it knows. If you wish to see someone's head explode on live TV be sure and tune in to this example of a surviving brain donor when Zimmerman is acquitted. I would wager you that it will be attempting to instigate violence and retribution from his double digit IQ audience. Too bad we cannot hold the leftist media accountable for the costs of damages that is going to occur over this injustice they have created. Did you know eric holders department of just-us was involved in creating this politically motivated attempted lynching?

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 8:21 am

    Tax money to turn self defense into something else.

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  • 1036-FrankJuly 11, 2013 - 9:12 am

    If what I read above is true about the Sheriff's Dept. being notified about this debris in May trying the same thing in front of witnesses in CP and no action was taken, there should be a termination proceeding for the deputy who let this career criminal go that time and luckily this con didn't kill someone either directly or by DUI. I have a really bad feeling with the latest arrest of a Sheriff's Sgt. all over the Sac news last night, that there is a complete lack of Sheriff employees being supervised properly and fired when wrong doing is found.

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  • CherylJuly 11, 2013 - 9:23 am

    As per usual Cookie turns this into a left vs right issue when in fact what we have here is one sick F&%# who needs to be put out of his misery. And how did this turn into a Zimmerman issue? It's sexual assault on an animal and giving it a cruel and painful death. Anyone harming an animal is eligible for the death penalty in my mind. And James, you are so correct, I have had everything from small dogs to large and it was my Maltese that a few years back when an intruder entered my home in the night came in and jump on me barking to wake me up in time to see the intruder turn tail and take off out the door. The little guy got rid of him before I could even go for the gun.

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 9:38 am

    Cheryl, someone else brought up Zimmerman. You read everything I write, do I really need to state my position on some lifetime criminal walking the streets because he is a victim of incarceration? Or even his taste for bestiality? Maybe he can get the 9th circus court to grant him the equal rights to marry a horse. Are you pro-capital punishment? Everything is political. Everything is a left/right issue. And I didn't make it that way the leftists did. This guy is walking the streets because of leftism. Do you know why obama's look alike son is dead? Because the school system and local police choose to bury his behavior and alter evidence to make their local minority youth crime statistics look better. Get a clue, leftism killed that kid NOT Zimmerman. You hate me for pointing it out.

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 9:40 am

    I am fascinated by all the comments here seeking maximum punishment over the death of a horse. From people who view 50 million abortions as a job well done.

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  • CherylJuly 11, 2013 - 9:44 am

    Frank, you are correct, if the deputy did nothing when possibly he same guy tried to steal a horse with witnesses and did nothing, then heads should fly. We recently had an incident here where a neighbor took off on vacation and before leaving left paper plates full of rat poison in various spots in his yard. Luckily it was spotted before any children or pets could get into it. Called sheriff who said it was an animal control issue. Called animal control(after photographing and collecting the evidence) and they took 4 days to respond and basically said unless we saw him put the trays down there was nothing to do about it and we couldn't prove it was rat poison. Any idiot that saw what was in the trays would know what it was. So basically AC was useless. This is why people take matters into their own hands and things excalate. Did I mention the guy put one of the trays onto my neighbors property also? Still nothing done.

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  • CherylJuly 11, 2013 - 9:51 am

    Cookie, I don't read everything you write, you don't really think you are that important do you? Where have I ever said I was pro abortion? Where did I ever say my views on capital punishment other than my views on hatred for sick people like this guy. Someone who is this sick to do something like this to an animal would do much worse to a human. The guy should have been in a mental facility, oh but then your guys cut those options out. And I never said I hated you, you just see everything as black or white, no compromise.

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  • don't judgeJuly 11, 2013 - 11:55 am

    Please don't lump all people who participate in bestiality with this situation. Some are real horse lovers. What we need is a better understanding as to why Mr Baker felt the need to kill the horse. Maybe if we weren't so judgmental regarding alternate lifestyles the horse would be fine today. On a side note, anyone know the name of that pig?

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  • Stephanie TaylorJuly 11, 2013 - 12:23 pm

    You comments are neither clever nor funny. Get a cell next to Mr. Baker and be his pony would ya?

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 11, 2013 - 12:27 pm

    Mr. Ed?

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    Cheryl, I don't see things as black & white. I see things as right and wrong. Those who have tried to influence me to compromise with wrong have all failed. I just can't do it. Example; when I reach in my pocket, pull out a 20 and give it to someone in need it is called charity. When the government reaches in my pocket pulls out a 20, keeps 18 and gives the person in need 2 that is called theft. Then they turn around and tell the person in need how generous they are and if they vote for them next time they will give them a cell phone. While at the same time telling them the person the stole the money from is greedy.

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  • StephanieJuly 11, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    I think that what happened to this sweet horse and what the owner is suffering through is just awful....and how some of you have made this all about you and what you think about things that do not directly relate to this story is insensitive and disappointing. Making jokes about bestiality is really sick. It is not funny and I personally am not laughing. I don't think these comments have a place here, and they not only disrespectful, they show such a lack of compassion and caring that it just makes this worse. This is what this world is coming to. Shame on you.

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 4:13 pm

    MD staff the comment section still has some glitches.

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 4:25 pm

    Stephanie, what exactly are you babbling about? I have an instant solution for people like this. Life is full of disappointments, get used to it. And the jokes about bestiality are just making a point about the absurdity of one of our countries political parties. Which by the way is the same party who puts people like this out in the public. Compassion is all well and good put we are being overrun with compassion when justice is what is needed.

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  • StephanieJuly 11, 2013 - 4:59 pm

    You are the one babbling off topic. I didn't read this article to get your opinion of something that I am not interested in. It has no place here. Quit making excuses for why you feel the need to insert your psycho babble in this tragic circumstance. I know that this may be shocking to someone so self absorbed and arrogant as you, but deal with it. You are a miserable person who is looking for attention anywhere you can get it. This is real simple...your comments are off topic and not appropriate for this particular situation. Move on

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 11, 2013 - 8:15 pm

    Steph, honey, our human condition is colored both with horror and humor. They merge on life's palette in a blur described as "sophisticated" by intellectual progressives. The covalence of horror and humor enrich our experience. Grow up.

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  • StephanieJuly 11, 2013 - 8:43 pm

    Interesting that you cannot seem to follow a straight line or grasp a simple concept. This has nothing to do with me, nor my lack of emotional maturity. The common traits of lack of a moral code, lack of compassion, blasé attitude of sex with animals, torture and murder of an innocent pet, and unstoppable desire to scratch your itch no matter how out of line you are reminds me of that depraved pervert that this article is about. He is not the product of your conspiracy theories or the current political climate. El Dorado county and El Dorado law enforcement is far from liberal. Whatever is this mans problem is the same as yours....and he needs to own it the same way you do. I'm not your honey, and I'm sorry if you didn't get enough attention, love or kindness when you were a child...stop making it everyone else's problem. You are no better and probably in your own way, more dangerous than the nutcase who perpetrated this crime, and what this is supposed to be about. You are part of the problem, not part of the I am going to go write a card of support to the owner of this horse and wonder for all of two more minutes what you are even doing you peruse obits and harass grieving family members also? Go spread some more of your "charm."

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  • don't judgeJuly 11, 2013 - 8:40 pm

    Why would you think I'm making jokes? This could simply be two consenting adults having gay different species sex together in a cemetery. Studies show that 1 of every 8 people in the world have practiced zoophilia. It's more common than plain boring old homosexuality. We should embraced those who did not chose to desire a pig for more than just it's ham, bacon or sausage. Rather applaud them for not eating their equal creature of this world. Stephanie, unless you are a devout vegan. You have little room to feign disgust on those who love our animals.

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  • James E.July 11, 2013 - 8:59 pm

    I've made my opinion known as noted above. Just skewer the SOB on the fence. But, of course they won't -- mental rehab and some time in the county jail. I consider myself a semi-gentle soul (believe it or not), but animal abuse really sets me off. Big time!

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  • James E.July 11, 2013 - 9:00 pm

    ADDED: Because they cannot speak for themselves and are at the mercy of humans. So called humans.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 11, 2013 - 9:03 pm

    How many "Freds" would it take to hollow him out, James?

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  • James E.July 11, 2013 - 9:10 pm

    Stephanie, Phil is not dangerous. He can speak for himself, but I think his point was that in the midst of horror, dark humor can and does arise. It can become a releaser from the horror that one doesn't want to face head on. Soldiers often do it in combat. That being said, skewer the SOB on the fence and I won't need to speak any humor to accept the sight of it.

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  • James E.July 11, 2013 - 9:16 pm

    Phil, Mr. Fred is tiny so it would take a bunch of Freds. May I suggest a German Shepherd, a pit bull, and a Rottweiler all working together to get the job done.

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  • Ken SteersJuly 11, 2013 - 9:36 pm

    A dark day for our society

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 9:46 pm

    Phil, here is another example of the topic police, who spends an awful lot of time off topic. Talk about a total control freak. These threads are like herding cats and for those of you who wish to dictate what can and can't be discussed and how it is to be discussed all I can say is good luck. Stephanie, you said you didn't read this article to get my opinion of something you are not interested in. My opinion that you are not interested in is not in the article, it is in the comment section following the article. If you read it and didn't like it, the solution is real simple. DON'T READ IT!!!!!!! Like Phil politely suggested, grow up...

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 9:55 pm

    Ken, there have been a lot of those dark days all strung together. It tends to follow enlightenment. A few years back some guy in Washington died from a rupture after he had visited some ranchers barn. Don't Judge is spot on with where we are headed in this country. Maybe that is why people like Stephanie are so intolerant of the discussion. People support diversity of any nature don't want to be exposed to what they support.

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  • cookie65July 11, 2013 - 9:58 pm

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 11, 2013 - 10:05 pm

    Cookie, this probably is not the venue for me confess to having artificially inseminated dozens of dairy cows back in th' day so I won't. Nope! Didn't do it!

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  • robertdnollJuly 12, 2013 - 10:24 am

    Stephanie,it's great you have compassion for animals but consider the families of the posters who are attacking you,sad,miserable and lonely

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  • CindyAugust 04, 2013 - 6:39 pm

    This is helpful!

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