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Minnesota man guilty in pig-slashing case

By Tom Watkins, CNN
  • Man accused of stabbing 29 pigs in April
  • He pleads guilty to burglary, torture and cruelty to animals
  • Facility manager: "Never even heard of anything remotely like this"
  • Sentencing hearing set for June 28

(CNN) -- A Minnesota man accused of stabbing 29 pigs last month pleaded guilty Tuesday to third-degree burglary, torture and cruelty to animals and driving while intoxicated, a court spokeswoman said.

According to the Martin County Sheriff's Office, the charges concerned an incident that occurred before dawn on April 27, when a caller told police that a suspicious person was in a barn belonging to the Wiechman Pig Company.

A deputy was sent to the farm, where a man told him that the suspect -- later identified as Curtis Lee Adams -- had asked him for help with his pickup truck, which was stuck atop a piece of farm equipment. Adams, 23, had told him that he had been at a nearby bar and had gotten lost after he left.

When police found Adams, he told them he did not know how he had entered the barn, according to a police statement of probable cause. "Adams' knuckles were skinned up and he had blood on them and smelled very strong like pigs and had pig manure on him," the statement said.

After Adams failed a breath test, he was arrested. Police searched his pickup and found a .22 caliber long gun that was not properly cased, the statement said. He was then released to a sober driver.

The next morning, workers at the barn discovered that 29 pigs had been stabbed and found a knife in the nearby grass, which Adams later said was his, the report said. After seeing photographs of the carnage, "Adams stated that he must have done it, but he does not remember doing it," the report said.

A veterinarian euthanized the animals, whose value was put at $7,824.67.

A sentencing hearing is set for June 28, said Lissa Finne with the Minnesota Judicial Branch in Saint Paul.

Adams' public defender, Darci Bentz, did not immediately return a call.

"It's just absolutely a fluke deal," said Myron Brye, the manager of the facility, which is about 100 miles southwest of Minneapolis. "I've been doing this for 35 or more years and have never even heard of anything remotely like this."

The burglary charge carries a potential penalty of five years and a $10,000 fine; the torture and driving under the influence charges carry potential penalties of 90 days and $1,000 fine each.