An Arkansas farmer has pleaded guilty to defacing the grave of his former neighbor by dumping dead critters on his gravestone whereas dressed as a lady — claiming he was honoring his longtime nemesis within the act.
Joseph Stroud, 79, who pleaded guilty Monday to misdemeanor defacing objects of public respect, was initially charged with a felony, however agreed in a deal to plead guilty to the lesser cost, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.
Stroud was given a one-year suspended sentence and should pay $2,529 in restitution inside 30 days, in accordance to the information outlet.
Fred McKinney’s granddaughter, Shannon Nobles, first observed the dead animals in Could 2020 — and not less than certainly one of them left a brown stain on his gravestone.
The household later arrange cameras that captured an individual in a grey Dodge Journey “strolling up to the gravestone with a dead animal in hand, place the dead animal on the gravestone, and stroll again to his car.”
The perpetrator, later recognized as Stroud, wore a lady’s wig, windbreaker jacket and sun shades.
Benton County Circuit Choose Robin Inexperienced requested why she ought to settle for the plea deal Monday.
Deputy prosecutor Tyler Hawkins mentioned Stroud’s legal professional, Alison Lee, had offered him with a report from a neurologist who identified him with vascular dementia.
Hawkins mentioned McKinney’s household supported the plea and needed the cash to exchange the gravestone.
“They may have to exchange the gravestone due to the blood and guts,” Hawkins instructed the choose, in accordance to the information outlet. “It’s completely stained.”
When requested by the choose why he positioned the dead animals on McKinney’s grave, Stroud mentioned the person was a farmer and was keen on animals.
“I accomplished it for his behalf to present him the animals had been nonetheless right here and every part like that,” he instructed Inexperienced. “He simply loved animals and that there was extra of a … a magnificence than flowers and stuff.”
Inexperienced then requested him: “In the event you had been honoring him, why would you put on disguises and sneak out and in of the cemetery to put the dead animals on his grave?”
“It was to agitate the folks taking a look at me and following me round,” he replied.
The 2 males had close by farms and “by no means obtained together with one another,” Nobles has mentioned, including there was as soon as a lawsuit between the pair that she believed Stroud misplaced.