- Texas, USA -
Llano County Sheriff’s Office says 41-year-old CRAIG MARCUS BAUMAN (pictured below), was arrested on two counts of cruelty to livestock.
On June 15, deputies and investigators responded to Schenken Genetics, a ranch on 6218 N. State Hwy 16 in Llano County.
The reason for them being there is on June 12, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official was at the ranch to conduct a land management survey.
The official became concerned with some of the issues they encountered and addressed them to the Sheriff’s Office.
Although the owner of the ranch is Dr. Robert Schenken, BAUMAN and his family operate and maintain it.
Once at the ranch, investigators discovered numerous dead pigs in various states of decay in the same pens with live pigs.
Some of the living pigs were in poor health and found without food or water.
Statesman reports that a deputy wrote in the affidavit: “I observed piles of swine corpses along the south side of the pens in various stages of decay.”
The affidavit also states that the deputy saw two more dead pigs with little to no flesh left on their bodies and others where only bones and some skin were left.
In the affidavit it also reported that “Several of the animals appeared to be malnourished based on the visible ribs and bone structure of body through the skin.”
Several dead pigs and piglets were also found inside of pens in a barn at the ranch.
Bones and carcasses were found near the barn, as stated in the affidavit.
The Llano County Investigators contacted many agencies to assist with the month-long investigation.
Among witnesses and experts who were interviewed, BAUMAN was also questioned.
According to the affidavit, BAUMAN said that the animals started getting sick in the winter from “shipping fever” and that he had tried giving them antibiotics.
When investigators asked him why there were dead animals inside the barn, BAUMAN said he “just closed the doors and left them in there to try to stop the spread of infection.”
BAUMAN was interviewed by the American-Statesman and according to his version, sometime between June 10 and 12, a waterline malfunctioned at the ranch and some pigs couldn’t get to the water, so they ended up overheating and dying.
He said, “We had animals that died from the waterline malfunction and then we had animals that had passed away due to illness, old age, injury, just things that happen with animals in general, that were also on the place.”
He added: “Five pigs died because of the waterline malfunction. The deputies who visited the ranch saw those pigs before they could be buried. We didn’t do it on purpose. We didn’t know (the waterline) was broken.”
There is more to what BAUMAN said in the article.
The Sheriff’s Office wrote that after submitting a probable cause affidavit to Justice of the Peace Deb Edwards, two arrest warrants were issued for BAUMAN on August 19.
BAUMAN turned himself in to the Llano County Jail on August 19.
He was charged with two counts of MISDEMEANOR cruelty to livestock.
BAUMAN was released on $1,500 bond for each charge.
CRAIG MARCUS BAUMAN was a Llano City Council Member from May 2017 to May 2019.
He has also worked at Llano National Bank and he has been vice-president of the bank.
KXAN Investigates reports that BAUMAN is a local agriculture teacher and mentor, and former realtor.
In an interview with KXAN, the accused said “he has been an “open book” with law enforcement and has nothing to hide. He and his attorney called the situation a “tragic accident.””