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Texas rancher facing multiple felony theft charges

Texas authorities recently filed additional charges against a rancher already accused of stealing livestock. The defendant is facing multiple felony theft crimes, and, if convicted, he could spend a significant period of time behind bars. Police are currently still investigating the allegations of cattle theft and are seeking additional information from potential witnesses, so it is possible that additional charges could be forthcoming.

In May 2018, the 47-year-old man was accused of stealing 11 heads of cattle from another rancher. Police ultimately located the cattle in the defendant's possession, which they seized and then returned to their owner. This incident led to a third-degree felony charge for theft of livestock. A subsequent issue in Sept. 2018 led to a first-degree felony charge for misapplying fiduciary property charge.

The allegations apparently did not stop there, and police moved on to file another third-degree felony charge for the supposed theft of a horse. After this arrest, he posted a $5,000 bond and was released, only to be arrested again in late Dec. 2018. This arrest was in relation to a theft involving 72 heads of cattle, and he was taken back into police custody with a $1 million bond. A judge then raised his bond for two previous arrests as well, and a final criminal charge was filed in Jan. 2019, with a final bond for all of his charges set at $4,225,000.

Theft charges are serious matters, especially when they involve property that is worth a significant amount. Defendants accused of such crimes often face steep criminal penalties, which can not only put them behind bars but can also impact future employment opportunities. As such, Texas defendants are well advised to begin focusing on their criminal defense plans as early on as possible, even if that means starting while the criminal investigation is still ongoing.

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John M. Petruzzi, Attorney at Law
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