, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 3, 2006

Pitchfork, bat, shovel killed turkeys

NEWBURYPORT - Using a shovel, pitchfork and baseball bat, two intoxicated Newbury teens brutally killed 21 turkeys at a Newbury farm on Saturday, prosecutors say.

Now the two face 42 felony counts and risk going to jail if they are found guilty.

In their first courtroom appearance since being arrested, Jon Stella, 17, and Kevin Mahoney, 19, hid from a camera yesterday by ducking behind their lawyers as a prosecutor described to Judge Peter Doyle how the two teenagers carried out the crime.

Police reported finding a scene of gruesome mutilation when they arrived at Tendercrop Farm to investigate a report of a break-in and the killing of several turkeys. Reading from a police report, Assistant District Attorney Tara Chisholm said Mahoney used the pitchfork to throw into a mass of turkeys, killing "two at a time." One of the men retrieved a baseball bat from a vehicle and was "beating them up against the wall," she said.

Doyle ordered the two men be held on $10,000 cash bail for the turkey killings and held without bail for previous cases - disorderly conduct and being a minor in possession of alcohol for Stella and negligent operation of a motor vehicle for Mahoney.

Stella and Mahoney are each charged with 21 counts of cruelty to animals, 21 counts of malicious destruction of property and breaking and entering at night to commit a felony. Newbury police Staff Sgt. John Lucey said each of those counts carries a maximum of five years in prison.

"It's taken very seriously," Lucey said. "The charges are serious charges."

Joseph Hussey, 20, of Salisbury, was released yesterday on $500 bail on charges of breaking and entering and being an accessory after the fact.

The turkeys are 21 of 3,700 being raised at a barn at 41 Parker St., which is owned by Matthew J. Kozazcki, an owner of Tendercrop Farm. Kozazcki, who is the stepfather of Stella and was at the court yesterday, said the turkeys are raised to sell primarily for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"It's a tragedy for the families and the kids involved," he said outside the courthouse. "We're talking turkeys here, not people."

The turkeys were found by Kozazcki's brother in a ditch on the access road leading to the barn. Also found was a pair Reebok shoes covered with turkey blood and droppings.

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