McMinn Co. man arrested for shooting mules

MCMINN CO., Tenn. (WVLT) -- A McMinn County man has been arrested for shooting mules in May 2018.

Colby J. Eaton was arrested Thursday on a grand jury indictment for the shooting of two mules on a farm on County Road 700.

McMinn County deputies located and arrested Eaton, 21, at a residence on County Road 705 around 11:30 a.m.

According to McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy, the indictment was the result of an investigation into an incident that occurred on May 24, 2018.

On that day, deputies responded to a report of two mules being found shot to death at the Decker farm.

A neighbor noticed the two mules lying near a fence and notified James Decker, who found his mules had been shot.

“It is always shocking and troubling when domestic animals are harmed,” said Sheriff Guy in a news release. “These are not wild animals. They are domesticated farm animals, cared for and used by Mr. Decker on his farm for numerous purposes. They were very important to him personally and financially.”

Sheriff Guy said that an investigation was undertaken by his office that lasted several months, collecting evidence and evaluating suspects.

“The case was presented to the McMinn County Grand Jury in November, and an indictment for two counts of Cruelty to Livestock was issued for Colby J. Eaton,” continued Sheriff Guy. “Mr. Eaton was contacted several times about the indictment, but did not turn himself in, so our deputies have assisted him in getting to jail.”

Eaton was booked on the charges and faces a $5,000 bond. The case will be set on the docket for McMinn County Criminal Court.