Cattle shooting suspects arrested


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Updated: 8/16/2011 11:11 pm Published: 8/16/2011 3:09 pm


Two teens are arrested for killing a herd of cattle with a bow and arrows.

On Tuesday, Traton Vanderpool, 19, and Jared Barlass, 19, of Broken Arrow turned themselves into the Rogers County Sheriff after accusations they shot nine head of cattle in Oologah on August 9th.

Originally there were five cattle killed but an injured cow later died. Another cow was found with an arrow in her leg and a pregnant cow that was shot lost her calf.

The Branen family has the cattle for show.

They named them Prissy, Mini Pearl and Skunky.

"You get to know them. They are not a number 23, they have names, almost every cow out here has a name,” says 12-year-old Lyndee Branen.

Her sister had a cow named Lacy.

“She was the lead cow, so she was Boss Man. You could get her to go where you wanted to go and everyone would follow,” says 16-year-old Michaela Branen.

However, August 9th, Lacy and two other pregnant cows were killed and another was later found shot in the leg. She gave birth to a calf Tuesday morning.

"I am missing her [Lacy] and she is irreplaceable,” says Michaela Branen.

The cattle were shot with a bow and arrows allegedly by Vanderpool and Barlass.

"I don't think they understood how big the cows are in our lives. I think they just thought they are just raising them for hamburgers,” says Lyndee Branen.

Texas and Southwest Cattle Raisers Association John Cummings caught up with the 19-year-olds.

He says the teens were avid hunters who decided to go out for target practice.

"We started getting information that led us to believe they had access to some property out there in the area through some relatives,” says Cummings.

Still Michaela Branen says it’s been a stressful week.

"I'm honestly still trying to get over it,” says Michaela Branen.

Lyle Blakley says he’s not mad but disappointed.

"Why? I guess Why? What do you say? Why?” says Blakley.

He lost a bull and two cows, one that was shot later died and another pregnant mom that was shot lost her embryo calf.

"I expected the two cows to be fine, I really did but they just never got any better,” says Blakley.

The money making bull is still injured.

"Those people liked him a lot and I was hoping to sell him,” says Blakley. "I've treated them for a lot of things but never an arrow."

While investigators were working leads, 98.5 KVOO shared FOX23 News’ story and big donations poured in.

Local veterinarian, Dr. Kim Huckaby donated a cow for 4-H.

"Very humbling experience,” says Steve Branen.

She also donated $1,250 for the Branen girls’ college fund.

"You have to find those good people. There are bad people out there but there are good people too,” says Michaela Branen.

It’s a relief to have the culprits caught but the father of the Branen’s say the accused shooters took away memories.

"Some innocence was lost on this deal, it was taken away and it will not be back,” says Steve Branen.

The Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association put up a $1,000 reward and the Human Society put up a $2,500 reward.
There were also a few more donors which brought the total to $4,500 reward.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton says if they accept the reward the reward will paid out to several tipsters.

Vanderpool and Barlass bonded out on $22,500 bond today.

Each are facing nine counts of animal cruelty. Each count carries a five-year prison sentence.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Soensaeng - 9/5/2011 7:49 PM
0 Votes
I agree that punishment is due these teens and they should have to work to make resitution for their deeds, Let's make a comparison. I will ask the question why is punishment of 5 years each being given for hurting or killing the animals. Yet when an unborn human baby is slaughtered in the womb nothing is said, no charges are made. Hmmm.... I guess it's ok to KILL human babies, but dare you make an animal uncomfortable in any way. ( I will say that in NO WAY am I in favor of being cruel to animals). I just wonder why people rant about animals and say little or nothing about KILLING unborn or near term children.

CindyLouWho - 8/18/2011 10:40 AM
0 Votes
Good job a**holes... killing the children's pet cows, how about you stand in a field and let me shoot arrows at you since you think it's ok to let animals suffer and die slowly for your amusement. Not cool.

oklahomagirl - 8/17/2011 10:29 AM
0 Votes
I know both of these boys, and never would have thought they would make such an awful mistake. They do deserve to be punished, and the justice system needs to make sure they both learn from this, but saying they need to die for their mistake? That makes you just as low, if not lower than what they did. I am disturbed and discusted that they did this, but I hope I know them well enough to know there is a lot of hope that they will learn from this. I know it's crazy to imagine thinking that it was okay to do this, but teenagers make mistakes, obviously some bigger than others.

golfguy - 8/17/2011 8:01 AM
0 Votes
Low rent idiots!

golfguy - 8/17/2011 8:01 AM
0 Votes
Low rent idiots!

golfguy - 8/17/2011 7:53 AM
0 Votes
Wonder where their fathers are?

okiebowhunter - 8/17/2011 12:32 AM
0 Votes
wow i think death penalty by cutting off heads for shooting cattle wich by the way was cruel and stupid and on top of that is yet another reason im have to defend my right to hunt and they should def be dealt with but as far as never changing thats a narrow and dangerous view...and i see no reason to believe killing cattle warrants believing these guys are baby killing rapist..however they should be held acountable for the monetary and psychological damage as well as the cruelty involved maybe just maybe if they are held accountable they might change most dont some do..frankly idmitch reaction of wanting to remove a humans head and people are unable to change...frightens me just as much as killing another persons property maybe lil more.....

cattleokie - 8/16/2011 10:15 PM
1 Vote
They need to be given a fair trial, & then hung at high noon like they did back in the western days. Our justice system is so messed up no one is afraid to do anything these days.

ldmitch - 8/16/2011 8:07 PM
2 Votes
i must have forgot you can not kill something with out a license that will stop them for good. where were their cattle hunting license.

oklateach - 8/16/2011 5:52 PM
0 Votes
ldmitch are you kidding me? Cut their heads off? I know Jared and am absolutely disguisted at what he has done. I am disappointed that he was so cruel-but he doesn't deserve to get his head cut off. He isn't a future rapist or murderer-he is a DUMB KID who did something unspeakably cruel and horrible. I agree with kindagreywolf they should have to learn a lesson from this-I would like to add though that they shouldn't ever be allowed to own a hunting license again.
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