Police in Clarendon County, S.C., have arrested a suspect in a string of chicken house attacks, all belonging to farmers who contracted with Pilgrim’s Pride. More than 300,000 birds were killed in the process. James Laverne Lowery was found at his home in Clarendon County late Tuesday night, according to Sheriff Randy Garrett.
Lowery was to turn himself in to police, reports Manninglive.com, but he failed to show up at the police department. County Sheriff Randy Garrett said that Lowery, 44, has “an ax to grind” against Pilgrim’s Pride, which has a facility in nearby Sumter. ManningLive reports that he was a contract grower for the company, but his contract was terminated earlier this year, allegedly for poor performance.
“He had a vendetta against this company,” Garrett said. “But in the process, he hurt our farmers in Clarendon and Sumter counties. They are the ones who have paid the price.
“They put him out of money, so he decided to do the same to them,” Garrett said. “Mr. Lowery went on quite the crime spree, with no thought to anyone else but himself.”
Lowery faces eight counts of second-degree burglary and four counts of malicious injury to animals or property. Other charges – perhaps at the federal level – are pending. Police say that Lowery cut the alarms on the houses and then turned up the temperature controls to lethal temperatures, killing many of the birds inside the houses.