Goat killer pleads guilty, gets 9 years
PLACERVILLE – A 23-year-old Folsom man pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years in prison on Monday in a case of animal abuse that occurred at a family ranch in El Dorado County over a three-month period.
Ryan Troyer pleaded guilty to eight counts of felony crimes against animals, and seven counts of grand theft in the case where he was accused of torturing and strangling to death at least 11 prized Nigerian goats.
Troyer was sentenced to nine years in state prison and was ordered to pay restitution to the victim for the loss of the goats, as well as restitution to the Superior Court.
According to Henry Brzezinski, chief animal control officer for El Dorado County, the case was disturbing on many levels.
“Our investigation showed that the crimes were committed in a very cold and calculating way, with a high level of violence and torture,” Brzezinski said. “The pain and suffering these poor goats endured is upsetting. The FBI shows there is a correlation between severe animal abuse and human violence.”
Troyer was arrested on March 19 after law enforcement officers received a complaint from the owners of the goats. During his arraignment hearing a few days later, a $1 million bail was set by the judge because of the severity of the allegations.
In addition to the charges, a judge’s order was issued stating that the defendant could not “own, possess, care for or be around animals” and that his residence was subject to search. Troyer has remained in jail until his plea this week.
The crimes were committed from December 2005 through March 2006. The case was jointly investigated with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office and animal control.
“We were very pleased with the swift action taken by the sheriff’s office in responding to this crime and working with us on the case,” said Brzezinski. “It was a good cooperative effort between the sheriff’s office, animal control and the district attorney’s office. We also appreciate the level of support and cooperation we received from the owners of the goats. We realize this family has been through a great ordeal, and we hope this brings some closure.”
According to Brzezinski, Troyer’s sentence is substantial for an animal-abuse case.