Man jailed for grand theft livestock

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 22, 2016


This peacock was among those recovered after being stolen.
Courtesy photo

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant Thursday morning on Leonardo Lane in Defuniak Springs, Fla., recovering 16 animals including rare chickens and an exotic peacock.

Michael Morton, 31, is charged with four counts of burglary and four counts grand theft of live stock for entering a DeFuniak Springs woman’s property and stealing her animals on four separate occasions between January and April of this year.

After she was burglarized, the victim put up a camera in her back yard and was able to catch Morton in the act on video when he came to the property again.

The animals recovered include:

• One Black Shoulder Peacock

• One Japanese Frizzle Rooster

• One Red Silkie Hen

• One White Silkie Hen

• One Japanese Frizzle Hen • One Japanese Frizzle Juvenile

• One Mottled Hen

• Four Mottled Chicks

• One Black Polish Rooster

• Four Black Polish Chickens

“We are proud of our Walton County citizens for taking initiative to protect their property,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “In this case it allowed our investigators to identify the suspect and put together an excellent case.”

All animals will be returned to their owner following the investigation. Morton was transported and booked into the Walton County Jail.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Animal Control Officers who assisted our investigators during the recovery of the animals.