Hawkins man charged in rooster shooting thanks to blood evidence, witness accounts

Jeff Bobo • Nov 22, 2018 at 2:30 PM

CHURCH HILL — A Hawkins County man who was arraigned Wednesday on animal cruelty and reckless endangerment charges reportedly told police he shot his neighbor’s rooster because it was in his yard.

Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. Bobby Moffitt stated in his report, however, that Robert Neil Bruce’s account of the shooting was contradicted by witness statements as well as a lack of blood on his property.

Shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, Moffitt responded to a complaint of a rooster being shot on Click Town Road in the unincorporated area north of Allandale.

Jim Owens, 119 Click Town Road, stated he was on his front porch at the time of the shooting.

Owens stated he observed his chickens in the front yard at 103 Click Town Road, when he heard a gunshot and saw his rooster fly up in the air and then start limping.

Jerold Haynes, 103 Click Town Road, reportedly told Moffitt he was working in his garage and noticed the rooster and chickens in his driveway.

Haynes stated he went into his garage, and 5-10 seconds later he heard the gunshot. Haynes said he then ran back out and observed the chickens still on his property and the rooster bleeding.

Bruce, 70, 111 Dickerson Lane, stated he had shot the rooster, but it was on his property.

“I had Mr. Bruce show me where he shot at the rooster, and in doing so Click Town Road and the residence at 102 Click Town were in the line of sight,” Moffitt stated. “Myself and Deputy Mike Allen looked for blood in the area where he stated he shot the rooster but we couldn’t find any. But, where Mr Owens and Mr. Haynes said the rooster was shot, we did find a lot of blood.”

Bruce was released from the Hawkins County Jail Sunday on $4,000 bond.

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