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Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office: Five beagles shot, killed; suspect accused of also trying to kill hunter

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A 25-year-old man is accused of killing five beagles and trying to kill a rabbit hunter in Neeses, according to Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office warrants.

The registered beagles had a total value of $27,000, the warrants say.

A.J. Lamar Davis, of Gaston, is charged with five counts each of ill-treatment of animals, torture and malicious injury to animals valued more than $2,000 but less than $10,000 and one count each of attempted murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources charged him with one count of killing a dog that has entered on private land.

The shooting occurred at about 9 a.m. Thursday as five friends were out rabbit hunting, according to a sheriff’s office incident report.

One of the hunters said the dogs began chasing a rabbit on his land and then went into an adjoining cotton field.

That’s when he heard gunshots ring out.

The hunter walked to the corner of his property.

He alleges a man in a gray shirt began shooting at him and yelling that he needed to get the dogs.

The hunter alleges the male, “continued firing shots at him and the men he was hunting with while he was walking towards the house,” the report states.

The dogs made another pass in the woods and got close to the man in the gray shirt, the report said.

The hunter alleges he then saw two gunmen firing shots at the dogs.

The hunters tried to get the dogs back, but didn’t want to get close to the man in the gray shirt, the report said.

As the dogs drew nearer, the man in the gray shirt allegedly started to shoot the dogs, killing five of them.

A hunter called 911 and the shooting stopped.

Deputies arrived and discovered “multiple dogs with collars and GPS collars on dead in the yard” of a Celebration Drive home, the report states.

The officers detained Davis and another man at the scene. The other man hasn’t been charged in the incident.

Warrants accuse Davis of trying to kill one of the hunters, “shooting at him multiple times using a .22-caliber pistol, narrowly missing him.”

Warrants also accuse him of shooting and killing the following beagles “without good cause”: a 3-year-old lemon white known as Double E’s Big Nose Kate, a 2-year-old black and tan known as Blackstone Mr. Brown, a 3-year-old black and tan known as JRB Dirt Road Diva, a 4-year-old black and tan known as Katdaddy’s Little Biddy Brown and a 2-year-old black and tan known as Cottonwoods Big Black Bella.

Orangeburg County Chief Magistrate Derrick Dash set Davis’ bond at $5,000 on each charge on Friday. Davis posted the necessary payment toward his $60,000 bond the same day and was released.

The incident remains under investigation.

If convicted, Davis faces up to 30 years in prison.

Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD

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