Rogers County Ranchers Wait For Justice In Animal Cruelty Case

Wednesday, April 22nd 2015, 6:18 pm
By: News On 6

An animal cruelty case from four years ago is back in the spotlight this week. Eleven cattle were shot with arrows, only one animal survived.

Years later, the ranchers whose cattle were killed say they are still suffering from the loss.

The Rogers County District Attorney's Office says Traton Vanderpool could spend between 90 days to two years in jail of a 40-year sentence with the rest on probation.

But the two ranchers who lost the cattle say they're disappointed.

"The financial loss is still ongoing, so that's basically what... I had hoped that the young man would have learned a lesson," said rancher Lyle Blakely.

Four years ago neighboring Rogers county ranchers Steve Branen and Lyle Blakley lost a combined 11 head of cattle. It cost them an estimated $84,000.

"This was just cruelness, I guess, is what this boils down to," Blakely said.

Court records show two men, Traton Vanderpool and Jared Barlass, admitted they were bored when they decided to shoot arrows into the cattle, killing nine and severely injuring two others.

4/20/2015 Related Story: Oologah Man Gets Prison Time For Killing Cattle With Arrows

Vanderpool and Barlass were sentenced to probation and to pay restitution to the two ranchers. But for one of these men things have not gone according to plan.

On Monday, Traton Vanderpool was sent to jail for not paying what he owes.

"You know the financial burden is still ours at this point in time," said rancher Steve Branen. "Like at this point in time - if he was paying the restitution, we wouldn't be here today."

"You know, we've never wished, like I said, for him to go to jail."

In a letter last week, Steve Branen made an impassioned statement to the judge saying that he and his family are still suffering from the loss. Calling Vanderpool's lack of payment "shameful"and attaching pictures from social media of Vanderpool hunting and holding a gun, two things that Branen says violates his probation.

"Promises were made you know upon other promises and they didn't come through and that was what was more aggravating than anything else," said Branen.

"I think justice is a long process, and I guess I don't feel it's been served yet because restitution hasn't been paid," said rancher Lyle Blakely.

A justice Branen and Blakely say they'll continue to wait for.

The district attorney says so far Jared Barlass, the other man convicted of killing the cattle, has been paying the restitution.