UPDATE: Bath Salt Suspect Accused of Killing Goat Found Incompetent

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 9/17/12 @ 2:15 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man accused of bizarre and disturbing animal abuse has been found incompetent to stand trial.

Mark Thompson was in court Monday for a criminal responsibility hearing.

Thompson was arrested after police say he got high on bath salts and stole his neighbor's goat and killed it. Thompson was found standing over the goat's body wearing women's underwear.

During Monday's hearing, a doctor's report stated Thompson was not competent to stand trial.

The judge found Thompson not guilty by reason of mental illness. Judge sentenced him to six-and-a-half years at Sharpe Hospital. The judge will get a yearly report on his progress.

Thompson was facing three charges, including petit larceny, animal cruelty and a felony charge of animal cruelty.

UPDATE 6/4/12 @ 1:10 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The case against a man accused of bizarre and disturbing animal abuse has been delayed.

Mark Thompson was in court Monday morning where his trial was expected to begin.

His attorney told the judge that Thompson was not competent to stand trial. The judge granted a motion to have a competency hearing.

Thompson was arrested last summer after police say he got high on bath salts and stole his neighbor's goat and killed it.

Thompson was found standing over the goat's body wearing women's underwear.

No new trial date has been set just yet.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.

UPDATE 5/8/11 @ 3 p.m
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- West Virginia banned the synthetic drug bath salts last month, but law enforcement and medical officials say the hallucinogens remain a problem.

Last week an Alum Creek man told police he was high on bath salts when he was charged with stabbing a neighbor's pygmy goat while wearing nothing but women's underwear.

The ban that took effect in April was meant to combat bath salts and other designer drugs, most of which were sold in convenience stores and can't be detected in urine tests.

Officials tell The Associated Press they hope abuse will decrease because of the ban.

The new law makes it a misdemeanor to sell, buy or possess the synthetic drugs, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

UPDATE 5/2/11 @ 11:05 p.m
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A family found a pet pygmy goat dead inside their neighbor's home outside South Charleston early Monday morning.

If that wasn't shocking enough, witnesses say the man accused of killing the goat was standing near it half-naked, wearing women’s underwear.

Deputies say 19-year-old Mark Thompson had been high on bath salts for three days, but his neighbors say that only partly explains what happened.

Lisa Powers got the pygmy goat for her grandson Friday. It was tied up outside their house when she went to bed. But, her nephew got a call in the middle of the night that the goat was inside Thompson’s home along Greenview Road outside South Charleston, according to a criminal complaint.

"It was just sickening for me. It made me very sick to my stomach," Powers says.

Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies say Thompson took the goat to his house and killed it. The goat was bleeding from the neck, according to investigators.

When witnesses went inside Thompson’s home, they say in addition to the dead goat, they saw Thompson standing there partially naked in women's underwear.

"I have a 4-year-old grandson and a 2-year-old granddaughter, and I could just imagine that if this went any further, it could be a child," says Powers.

Deputies say they found a pornographic photo a few feet from the goat.

When confronted about what was going on, deputies say Thompson initially ran off into the woods but eventually came back.

Deputies say Thompson didn't tell them much, other than to say he'd been high on bath salts for three days.

Charleston Police Detective Sean Snuffer says in the cases his department has worked related to bath salts, people on them "talk crazy, and they do things that are out of their mind, but nothing this bizarre."

But, Powers says drugs aren't totally to blame for this.

She says Thompson has a history of bizarre behavior that includes another animal cruelty case involving her son's dog.

"He would run through the woods there across the street, screaming and hitting things, and he's just very unstable," says Powers, who says she’s been concerned for some time about Thompson’s mental health.

She says she's tried to help him in the few years she's known him. But, eventually, she says she became afraid to let him be around her grandson.

“All I can do is pray for him," Powers says. “I hope he gets some help. I really do, because he's very, very unstable."

Deputies say the goat had a stab wound, but its body is being analyzed to see if anything else was done to it.

There were also some cats inside the home. Deputies say they didn't appear to have anything wrong with them, but humane officers took them from the home.

Thompson faces a felony animal cruelty charge. He's in jail on a $50,000 bond. He declined to comment.

ORIGINAL STORY 5/2/11 @ 10:30 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A bizarre case of animal abuse has landed a South Charleston man in jail.

Kanawha County deputies say a woman called them and said Mark Thompson stole and killed her pygmy goat. Police say the goat was found dead in Thompson's bedroom with blood coming out of his neck.

Thompson also was seen standing beside the goat wearing women's panties and bra.

Police say Thompson told them he had been high on bath salts for the past three days. He has been charged with animal cruelty and is in the South Central Regional Jail.

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