UPDATE: Accused Cattle Thief's Trial Moved to February
SAN ANGELO, TX -- A Tom Green County man facing a felony cattle theft charge filed a bizarre motion asking for probation before his jury trial even began.
Dusty Thompson, 44, was indicted for cattle theft in Oct. 2016. He is accused of penning three stray cows on his property for over two weeks and telling a confidential informant he planned on butchering them.
As we reported in 2016, according to the arrest affidavit filed by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), Special Ranger Kenny Wadsworth explained Thompson engaged in illegal theft of the cattle from Oct. 1, 2016 through Oct. 27, 2016, which was the day before he was arrested.
On Oct. 25, TSCRA Special Ranger Wadsworth was contacted by Special Ranger Joe Roberts who stated he had received information from a confidential informant that Thompson had moved three black cows on to a pasture adjoining their place.The informant stated the cattle didn't belong to Thompson, and he had the cattle at his residence for over two weeks prior to moving them to his other place on US 277 South, which is the area of his business, Southern Industrial.
"[The] informant stated the cattle were branded with a "7" on the left hip, and had pink ear tags in the left ear," read the affidavit.
The informant then sent pictures of the cattle to Wadsworth via text showing the brands and ear tags.
The investigation uncovered that this was the case.
The victim/informant, who Wadsworth asked that we not publicly name for safety reasons, said he runs cattle on his leased ranch and all of them are branded. At the beginning of October, the informant had repaired the fence running along his property, but was not aware of any cattle getting out, nor was he notified by law enforcement of any cattle being loose.
As previously stated, Wadsworth met with the informant on Oct. 2, and learned that three black cows had traveled onto Thompson's property. At that point, Thompson penned the cattle behind his house, and kept them there for about two weeks.
"[The] informant stated they were approached by Thompson, who asked them to assist him with butchering the cattle," said the affidavit. "[The] informant stated Thompson also asked another neighbor for help butchering the cattle."
Thompson on Jan. 8, 2019 filed an application for a probated sentence. His jury trial is on the docket for Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 9 a.m.
The application states the "Defendant has never before been convicted of a felony in this or any other state."
The application also requests the it "be granted and that the jury be instructed as to the law of a probated sentence as applied to this case."
Thompson has not been convicted by a jury nor has he entered a guilty plea.
Filing an application for a probated sentence would seem to indicate the defendant expects to be sentenced. Defendants are only sentenced after they are found guilty.
That means Thompson would have to be found guilty by a jury or a judge in order to be sentenced to probation.
UPDATE: Tuesday 4:00 p.m.
Thompson's jury trial was rescheduled Tuesday morning according to the District Clerk's office.
Court documents show Thompson has a final pretrial hearing on Feb. 5.
Thompson's jury trial is now on the court docket for Feb. 19, 2019 at 9 a.m.
Thompson stopped by San Angelo Live Tuesday morning.