Bastrop, Louisiana, located in Morehouse Parish, boasts scenic drives and breathtaking views via its Chamber of Commerce. Their motto is “The city of spirit, pride and progress.”
But something dark and sinister lurks among the scenic bayous and beautiful scenery. Bastrop first gained notoriety in August 2016 when two of its residents, Boots Stanley and Steve Sadler tortured and killed a pit bull (given the media name Justice). They not only filmed the entire event on Snapchat but also boasted about it. It was considered one of the most heinous acts committed against an animal by a human(s).
Although a petition was launched and over 21,000 letters poured in from around the world, Judge Carl Sharp handed down a sentence far too lenient for the violence of the crime. Sadler and Stanley were given only three years probation, a $5,000 fine, and community service. However, their probation will be reassessed in one year, and they could be entirely free after that.
Now, another horrific crime against an animal has surfaced on social media, also in the Bastrop, Louisiana area. The first video clip showed the dog laying on the ground, dying after being shot. The second clip showed someone shooting the dog from a distance while another person encouraged the shooter to fire while the dog yelped. Gunshots could be heard, along with someone laughing in the background. The dog that was killed has been given the name “Grace” by social media advocates.
The video can be viewed on the Facebook page of Villalobos Rescue Center. WARNING:(Warning video depicts graphic violence)
According to the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office, two of the participants, Alontae Alford and Nigel Madison have both been charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and booked into the Morehouse Parish Jail. Tobias Conway, the third participant in the video was arrested in connection with this investigation and charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He has a past conviction of armed robbery.
All three were arrested by a Grand Jury indictment and the case will go to trial. The trial date has not yet been set. According to Louisiana law, there are set punishments for animal abusers; the maximum being up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 dollar fine. The minimum sentence is one-year imprisonment and a $5,000.00 fine.
So why did Sadler and Stanley get away with only three years’ probation, a fine, and community service? Why was Judge Sharp so lenient? Was it because this was his last case before retirement?
Acccording to a recent story on KFLY News, there is strong public outcry regarding the leniency of Louisiana Animal Cruelty laws.Another question being raised is; why are there so many cases of extreme animal cruelty in the state of Louisiana? Not just to dogs like Justice and Grace, but also at the Bastrop Kill Pens run by the Stanley Brothers, exposed here in this news story.
Tim Benoit who works for Acadia Parish Animal Control claims lack of resources and manpower is to blame.
However, animal advocates and those familiar with the Sadler/Stanley case feel lack of proper enforcement of Louisiana’s existing animal abuse laws is the problem. It all may go back to judges being too lenient by giving only probation and minimal sentencing when the crimes are horrific enough to demand maximum penalties. It all comes down to lack of moral conviction which appears to be rampant in the Bastrop, Louisiana area.
District Attorney Stephen Tew, also the D.A. on the Sadler/Stanley case is working to change animal cruelty laws within the legislature. Please contact Stephen Tew and urge him to seek the highest form of punishment for Conway, Alford, and Madison.
318-387-8331 or via email at:
There is a petition requesting an investigation into the lenient sentencing of Sadler and Stanley.
And another requesting investigation of the corruption of the Stanley family at their Louisiana based horse kill pen.
You can also contact Bastrop’s Mayor Cotton https://www.cityofbastrop.com/copy-of-contact-us-secure-form asking what action is being taken by his office to decrease the acts of violence and savagery occurring in his city
When this author wrote to the Mayor’s Office, a form letter was returned advising a response would be sent soon. So far nothing has been received.
“True life can be more terrifying than a horror movie, that monsters are real and evil preys on the innocent.” ~unknown