Just when we think we'd seen it all, there comes a story like this one...
If the events described in an indictment unsealed in Angelina County Court today are true, it's one of the most shockingly sordid and brutal cases of animal abuse imaginable.
Authorities in the East Texas hamlet of Emporia allege that 57-year-old Billy Clyde Dunbar committed ongoing sexual assault of his gray mare Maypearl for the last ten years.
And that's not all. They further allege that Maypearl was addicted to both Dunbar's home-brewed whiskey and the crystal methamphetamine Dunbar is accused of manufacturing with his 69-year-old mother Earnestine "Bob" King, 81-year-old grandmother Hattie Mae McPherson and 95-year-old great-grandmother Susanna Dickinson, who barricaded herself in her trailer with a belt-fed World War I-era heavy machine gun and kept cops at bay for six hours before being pepper-spray-bombed into submission.
"The meth operation was a family deal," says Emporia police chief Bobby Roy Henderson. "All of 'em were real proud of it -- those grannies even knitted little homemade sacks to package it in. And that was one tough old lady. We're just glad that there were no fatalities, and we were able to get that machine gun and all those prohibited substances out of our community."
Animal rights activists were stunned at the condition of Maypearl, who had trackmarks in the veins of all four of her legs and showed signs of being raped both vaginally and anally.
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"You've probably seen that Faces of Meth deal," says Emporia police chief Bobby Roy Henderson. "This poor horse looks like the last picture of that, only she's a horse. I mean, all her teeth fell out of her head. That's one gray mare who ain't what she used to be, I'll tell you what."
As Dunbar and his ancestors were being herded into a paddy wagon, another crisis developed on the scene when a 1986 Ford F-150 driven by Dunbar's 13-year-old great-grandson roared up the muddy road and flipped over, almost crushing several police officers. Pulled unharmed from the wreckage, the third grader was administered several field sobriety tests, all of which he failed. While a court-ordered blood test is pending, he is being held on suspicion of DWI, which in his case would be a felony, as it would be his eleventh if he is convicted.
"Listen, that kid can drink your ass under the table," Henderson admitted. "In fact, he can drink your ass under the dadgum floor that the table is on. We just wish he wouldn't get behind the wheel after he does."
The elder Dunbar is being held on $5,000,000 bond and faces charges of animal cruelty, bestiality, illegal manufacture of liquor, engaging in organized criminal behavior, and a bevy of drug charges. (His female relatives all face many of the same charges.) If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 2,325 years in prison, though he would be eligible for parole in 2978.