Milford police have arrested two men, with one accused of killing 20 chickens with his bare hands at different locations early on the morning of Christmas Day while his friend drove the car. Police said the arrests come after a “gruesome animal cruelty investigation.”
Gregory Ulrich, 28, is accused of first smashing the windows of several cars in the Devon area of Milford after leaving a local establishment with 21-year-old John Budnovitch IV, also of Milford, who drove the car. The pair are also accused of going to two different locations, with Ulrich stealing 20 chickens and killing them with his bare hands, according to police. Several of the chickens were found in adjacent yards.
Officer Michael DeVito told the Hartford Courant that Ulrich was intoxicated and upset about pictures on social media that showed his wife hanging out with other people.
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Ulrich has been charged with larceny in the fifth degree, three counts of criminal mischief in the first degree, 10 counts of criminal mischief in the second degree, 20 counts of animal cruelty and interfering with a police officer.
Bond was set at $15,000.
Budnovitch has been charged with larceny in the sixth degree, two counts of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief in the first degree, six counts of conspiracy to commit criminal mischief in the second degree, 20 counts of conspiracy to commit animal cruelty, evading responsibility, operating a motor vehicle under suspension and using a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission.
Bond was set at $5,000.
A Milford police press release on Jan. 4 prepared by Officer DeVito alleged that both suspects had "killed the chickens with their bare hands." But DeVito clarified Monday that the listed charge for Budnovitch, 20 counts of animal cruelty, was incorrect. It should have said "conspiracy" to commit animal cruelty.
Still, DeVito argued that "he was just as culpable."