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Four arrested after piglets are stolen, killed in Illinois


BENTON, Ill. — Four people, including two adults and two juveniles, were arrested last week and face charges in connection to the theft, torture and killing of 30 piglets from the Logan Sow Center in southern Illinois.

Arrested on Oct. 3, two days after the alleged theft of the piglets, were Brendan A. Shaputis, of Ewing, and 18-year-old Trenton H. Bennett, of West Frankfort.

Also arrested were juveniles aged 17 and 15, both from West Frankfort.

Shaputis and Bennett remained jailed in Franklin County on $45,000 bond and are expected to make their initial court appearance this week.

The two juveniles were released to the custody of their parents and will face charges in juvenile court.

In a statement, Franklin County Sheriff Franklin County Sheriff Don Jones said the four allegedly stole the 30 piglets, which were no more than 7-days old, from the sprawling, outdoor sow center sometime on Sunday, Oct. 1.

The four people accused of the theft also are accused of torturing and killing the piglets “in a variety of ways,” according to the statement, including beating them, hitting them with a rake and throwing one of the piglets off a bridge overpass.

Both Bennett and Shaputis face Class 3 felony charges of theft and animal torture, charges which carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison upon conviction.

The theft charges qualify as felonies in large part because each piglet was valued by authorities at $500.

According to the charges filed in Franklin County, Bennett and Shaputis “tortured multiple piglets, causing the death of the piglets, by throwing a piglet off an overpass, and kicking, beating and striking the remaining piglets with a rake until death.”

The sheriff’s department declined to release further details about the case, citing its pending status in court.