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.
Both of the defense lawyers for the two men and a doctor who interviewed them for mental stability said Stella and Mahoney had drinking problems. Defense lawyer Ted Cranney, who represented Mahoney, said the turkey killing incident was "motivated by excessive consumption of alcohol."
Stella is a junior at Triton Regional High School. A doctor said in court Stella has a history of depression and a substance abuse problem.
Mahoney is attending a local community college and recently graduated from Triton. He now plays baseball in college and was the No. 2 pitcher for Triton's varsity baseball team. The doctor at the court said he also has a substance abuse problem and anger issues.
The doctor said neither of the men had any major mental illness.
Kozazcki said he has "absolutely forgiven" the men for killing the turkeys and is now concerned that they get help for their problems.
"I don't want to see them destroyed over this," he said. "I'm not trying to get them off, I'm trying to get them the help they need."
Kozazcki thought the bail was too high.
"I think it was excessive what happened there. They don't need to be in jail," he said.
Lucey said the charges are taken seriously because if a person is able to commit such an "atrocity" as killing 21 turkeys in such a manner, he may be capable of another serious crime.
"You look at a situation and the first thing you ask is 'why'? What is going on here? What would motivate someone do this?" he said. "You've got to call into question what else this person is capable of doing."
In the courtroom yesterday, the families of the three men were in the audience. Some of them cried as the description of the charges was being read. Others just sat and looked on, occasionally making eye contact with Stella and Mahoney, who were in police custody.
Hussey, who was not in custody, sat at a table with his lawyer.
As Stella and Mahoney were escorted back into police custody, a woman watching the proceedings from the front row called out, "I love you Kevin."
That generated a small wave of acknowledgement from Mahoney.
Kerri Mahoney, Kevin Mahoney's older sister, said the way her brother was depicted in the courtroom - as a turkey killer - is not accurate and does not properly describe his character.
"He has the biggest heart in the world," she said outside the courtroom.
The police report read by Chisholm, which is usually available to the public and details what police say happened, could not be viewed by The Daily News because the arraignment occurred so late in the day that it was not yet filed with the court's clerks.