BENTON — Franklin County deputies arrested four people on charges of theft and animal torture after they allegedly stole piglets and then killed them, in some cases by beating them, striking them with a rake, and throwing one off an overpass.

According to a news release from Franklin County Sheriff Don Jones, two juveniles were arrested alongside 18-year-old Trenton H. Bennett, of West Frankfort, and 20-year-old Brendan A. Shaputis, of Ewing. The two are charged with theft and animal torture, both Class 3 felonies.

The release said the four individuals on Sunday allegedly stole about 30 piglets, which were about 5 to 7 days old, from the Logan Sow Center, which “were later destroyed by the suspects in a variety of ways.”

According to an information sheet filed Oct. 4, Bennett is alleged to have “tortured multiple piglets, causing the death of the piglets, by throwing a piglet off an overpass and kicking, beating and striking the remaining piglets with a rake until death.”

The same document indicated that the pigs had a value in excess of $500.

Shaputis is also accused of killing piglets in the same manner as Bennett.

The news release said while the juveniles have been released to their families, Bennett and Shaputis are being held in the Franklin County Jail on $45,000 bond.

There was not a court date for either Bennett or Shaputis listed on Judici as of Wednesday evening.

isaac.smith@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

On Twitter: @ismithreports

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