There are some things in this town that make you scratch your head and wonder. This is just one of many…it made the state’s Law weekly.
They closed the books on The Culpeper Cow Caper Feb. 5, when the two guys who dumped a dead Black Angus cow in the parking lot of the Culpeper County administrative building in the middle of the night pleaded guilty to same and paid a $25 fine each.
Okay, for those of you coming in late: Last month two ol’ boys in Culpeper, young farmers and cousins as it turns out, found a dead cow that had floated down a river onto their property. They got a call from the county Animal Control office, they said, threatening legal action if they didn’t remove said carcass.
All right, they said. The pair said they walked up the 40-foot-wide stream until they found the animal, realizing then it wasn’t from their herd. They waded into the chest-high frigid water, hooked a line to the sand-covered carcass, pulled it ashore and buried it.
They sent a bill to the county, to the tune of $700, for their trouble and their actual costs. Animal Control responded, um, we only pay $75 for removal and burial.
So they did what they thought was only right. They said, “Have a cow, man.” They carted the dead critter in the back of a pickup and dumped it. In the middle of the night. In the parking lot outside Animal Control.
The boys confessed a few days later and were charged. But getting a conviction on this one was potentially dicey, prosecutors may have realized. They had no eyewitnesses. They had no identification of the cow, and they had no evidence: Exhibit A, i.e., the cow, was in little bitty ground-up pieces somewhere; the county had paid a fertilizer plant 50 bucks to come get the carcass the day it was dumped.
So the boys’ lawyer and the commonwealth’s attorney struck a deal - a $25 fine each, half the fee paid to cart the cow away.