An Alum Creek man will not be held criminally responsible for allegedly stealing, sexually assaulting and killing his neighbor’s pygmy goat while high on the synthetic cocaine known as “bath salts.”
After several mental evaluations over the last year and half, Mark Lucas Thompson is not competent for trial on the charges he faces for animal cruelty, a Kanawha County judge found Monday.
Instead, Circuit Judge James C. Stucky ordered that Thompson spend six and a half years in treatment at the William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston in lieu of prison.
Because Thompson has been in the regional jail system since May 2011 and Stucky gave him credit for time served, he may only spend up to five years in the Sharpe mental health facility. “I don’t think the jail system is the place for him,” assistant Kanawha County prosecutor Fred Giggenbach said of Thompson.
The neighbors had suspected that Thompson, who had a history of erratic behavior, had stolen the goat. When they entered his house and announced their presence, Thompson told them not to come in his room because he was naked, according to previous Gazette reports.
After police searched the home later, they found a pornographic magazine lying a few feet from the goat’s bloodied body. Kanawha County sheriff’s deputies confirmed that the goat had at least one stab wound. Thompson told police that he had been high on bath salts for three days.
Giggenbach said Monday that Thompson was not found to be criminally responsible for the crime based on his history of mental illness. Bath salts, however, played a role in the bizarre circumstances that led to the goat’s death, he said.