Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Prosecutors planning to move forward with allegations of animal cruelty at KU fraternity

May 10, 2013


A resolution may be coming soon in the case of a Dec. 14 allegation of animal cruelty at the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, 1425 Tennessee St., Douglas County prosecutors said Friday.

Witnesses had reported to police that a turkey was abused and killed at a fraternity party there, angering animal advocates across the country.

Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson's office said prosecutors have been in contact with attorneys representing suspects in the case, and Branson hopes to move forward with it in the next two weeks. It was not clear Friday what actions prosecutors might take, but the incident has been investigated by police as a suspected animal cruelty case.

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Lawrence Police Sgt. Trent McKinley said in January that officers had interviewed numerous people about the alleged killing of the turkey.

Witnesses said the turkey had been "poked by individuals through the cage and heckled during the evening," McKinley said. The turkey also was "chased and abused by several individuals present at the party, seriously injuring the animal." Someone then killed the turkey, and police were called.

In December, the national chapter of Beta Theta Pi announced that the KU chapter and their activities were suspended indefinitely, pending an investigation. A spokesman for the national chapter said it was still completing that investigation.

At KU, the national organization, as well as the KU Interfraternity Council, are responsible for investigating such cases and taking action.

Jack Esberg, a KU student and spokesman for the KU Interfraternity Council, had said his organization would decline comment, pending the completion of the criminal investigation.


bearded_gnome 5 years, 1 month ago

five months to file charges?
were they interviewing the turkey's relatives?

bad_dog 5 years, 1 month ago

Yes, it may very well be eaten anyway. That probably justifies making the remainder of its life as miserable as possible then, right? Gonna die anyway... I'll bet those starving young frat boys had him for dinner that very night.

FYI, I believe there are multiple studies indicating serial murderers often began practicing their "craft" by torturing/killing animals. Not saying that is or would be the case here with these fine citizens, but...

parrothead8 5 years, 1 month ago

Most farmers I know treat their animals a lot better than this turkey was treated. Just because you don't see Problem A as being important as Problem B doesn't mean we should allow Problem A to continue unabated. Talk about hot air,'re the one spewing the hot air. Who are you to tell everyone what they should be worrying about? If you've got the monopoly on knowing how to prioritize all of our problems, you should have a lot better place to hang out than the LJW message board.

bad_dog 5 years, 1 month ago

Had to go where? Defend a helpless creature? Hell yes. If you don't understand the propriety of that, I can't be of assistance. I'm a human rights and women's rights activist too. Aren't you?

From my perspective, that type of behavior is part & parcel of the very "screwed up society" you bemoan above. I'm not worried about food. I'm worried about people that applaud/ignore/accept such behavior.

irvan moore 5 years, 1 month ago

lets see the chancellor step up and discipline the fraternity and those involved

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

If found guilty, a significant amount of community service is warranted. Does the Humane Society need volunteers? I would hope that seeing so many animals in distress would soften their hearts to the plight of animals.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 1 month ago

^^KRichards 9 hours, 40 minutes ago

Maybe there were more pressing cases for the DA than a turkey.

---because this was so very public, and did involve the imposition of such torture for pleasure, seems rather important. plus, the delay started to make it seem like the frat boys had an in and it was just gonna be swept under the rug ... "boys will be boys" mentality.

patkindle 5 years, 1 month ago

this sounds like a typical prank from the antlers at mizzou what is the difference??

bearded_gnome 5 years, 1 month ago

difference is tormenting the bird. that's it.

then, taking pleasure in it.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 1 month ago

A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel.

---that was written a very very long time ago and is still true today.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Nothing like promoting insensitivity to violence and abuse........

james bush 5 years, 1 month ago

Destined for medical school to become late term abortionists.

OldRed 5 years, 1 month ago

What started out decades ago as an eccentric, but harmless Beta Theta Pi Christmas Party tradition of frivolity where a turkey spends a couple of nights being treated like a favored family pet, featured front & center in all party pics, has become a nightmare for all involved, especially for the turkey. Did some college kids screw up.? Yes they did. Do they now wish they had thought before they acted? You bet they do. Guys drinking too much and making bad decisions .... something really stupid was bound to happen sooner or later!

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