Suspect Arrested for Animal Cruelty After Horse Found Dead
Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a call after being informed a male had made threats to kill one of his horses if his ex-girlfriend didn’t get back together with him. Deputies were extremely disturbed when they found a deceased horse, with its tail chopped off, tied to a fence at the residence. The suspect, 45-year-old Clinton P. Burrill, was arrested after a short foot pursuit and charged with Animal Cruelty 1st Degree, a felony.
On May 21, 2018 at approximately 10:10 a.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Truman and Deputy Dan Middlebos responded to a welfare check at a residence located in the 9500 block of E. Woolard Rd. in North Spokane County.
Burrill’s ex-girlfriend reported she recently ended the relationship because Burrill had been violent with her and she felt he was becoming increasingly mentally unstable. She said Burrill called her the night before and threatened to kill her favorite horse if she didn’t get back together with him.
When Deputies arrived, they found Burrill’s driveway blocked with a junk car, an orange cone and a gas can. They parked their vehicles and walked up the driveway to attempt to contact Burrill. As they approached the house, they heard loud music coming from inside the residence, which was unsecured, as was the garage and barn.
With no response at the house, the Deputies checked for Burrill at the garage and barn. As Deputy Middlebos rounded the corner of the garage, he could see the horse pen where he had contacted Burrill in the past. As he approached, he observed the extremely troubling sight of a horse laying on its side on a steep hill just outside the pen. The horse was not moving and appeared to be dead. He also observed the rails of the pen were broken.
Unable to locate Burrill, the Deputies backed away from the residence and began to apply for a search warrant. While Deputy Truman worked to obtain the search warrant, Deputy Middlebos surveilled the property, waiting to see if Burrill returned.
Approximately 20 minutes later, Deputy Middlebos observed an older flatbed pickup driving on an old, unused and overgrown driveway to the residence. Both Deputies went back to the property to contact the driver of the pickup, believed to possibly be Burrill. Instead of talking with the Deputies, Burrill ran away from them despite their orders to stop. The Deputies cut off his escape as Burrill tried to climb a fence. Ordering him to stop and go to the ground, Burrill reached into his waistband as if he was attempting to access a weapon. With their firearms deployed, they again told Burrill to stop, show his hands and to go to the ground. Burrill immediately stopped reaching, put his hands in the air and began to comply. The Deputies placed him in handcuffs as Burrill yelled and screamed at them. Burrill was secured in a patrol vehicle.
After a search warrant was obtained, the Deputies returned to the property to check on the horse and any other animals. As they approached the deceased horse, a gruesome act of cruelty became apparent. One of the horse’s front ankles was tied to the fence with a short rope and another rope was cinched around its neck. The horse’s tail had been chopped off at the base and was not located. The ground in the immediate area of the horse was torn up from an apparent struggle where it appeared the horse had exhaled a large amount of blood from its nose and mouth.
Burrill was booked into the Spokane County Jail for Animal Cruelty 1st Degree.
On May 22, 2018, the victim called Deputy Truman to report a shocking discovery. She explained that yesterday, she noticed a bag of items on her front porch. She didn’t check the items, which appeared to be from the suspect’s home, and believed they had been placed there by Burrill since he had left items on her porch in the past. This morning she opened the bag to find a handkerchief tied around a lock of horse tail hairs with the tag “77” on it. The victim is convinced the suspect placed the bag on her porch the day before to scare, intimidate and harass her after he killed the horse and before his arrest.
Additionally, Burrill was charged with misdemeanor Harassment (DV).