A West Virginia man will not be held criminally responsible for allegedly stealing, raping and killing his neighbor’s goat while high on bath salts because the judge declared him not competent to stand trial.
Mark Lucas Thompson, 20, pleaded not guilty to the alleged crime by reason of mental illness, according to The Associated Press. Kanawha Circuit Judge James Stucky accepted the plea and sent Thompson to William Sharpe Mental Hospital for six and a half years of treatment.
On May 2, 2011, Thompson was found by his neighbor in his bedroom with the dead pygmy goat. Thompson was allegedly wearing women’s underwear, the Charleston Daily Mail reported at the time. The goat was bought as a present for the neighbor’s grandson. When the goat went missing, she went looking for it.
Neighbors had suspected Thompson, who reportedly exhibited erratic behavior in the past, had taken the goat, the Charleston Gazette reports. When police apprehended Thompson, he told them he had been high on bath salts, a synthetic cocaine, for three days. When police later searched the home, they allegedly found a pornographic magazine lying near the goat’s dead body. Thompson is believed to have sodomized the animal.
Thompson was indicted by a grand jury on two charges of animal cruelty and petit larceny, according to the Charleston Daily Mail. His mental health had been debated in court previously. On Monday, assistant prosecutor Fred Giggenbach said: “I’m convinced the defendant committed these crimes, but I’m convinced he suffers from serious mental disease or defect. He needs mental health treatment, and in fairness a regional jail is not the place for him.”
Since January 2011, the West Virginia Poison Control Center in Charleston has received 171 calls regarding bath salts, according to The Charleston Gazette. Most of the calls came from healthcare professionals requiring assistance in treating an individual who ingested the drug.
Bath salts made international headlines in July when “Miami Cannibal” Rudy Eugene, who was originally believed to have been high on bath salts, attacked homeless man Ronald Poppo. Toxicology reports revealed, however, that Eugene did not have bath salts in his body.