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Theodosia man charged after allegedly stealing, sacrificing neighbor's chicken


David R. Stecklein, 68, Theodosia, has been charged after allegedly stealing a neighbor's pet chicken, killing it and hanging it from a tree in his front yard.

He is charged with first-degree harassment and stealing an animal, both felonies, and misdemeanor animal abuse and second-degree property damage.

According to a probable cause statement submitted to prosecutors by Ozark County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Seth Miller, the incident happened on March 31. The owners of the chicken reportedly stated it was a pet, and seeing it "displayed" in that way caused them serious emotional trauma and distress.

When they confronted Stecklein about it, he reportedly told them it was his "sacrificing passover."

When asked about the incident by Miller, Stecklein reportedly first claimed the chicken was his, but said he didn't buy it, but had found it dead.

When Miller asked him why he sacrificed the chicken he allegedly replied, “The Lord gave it to me."

In the victims' report to law enforcement, they added they had previously been harassed when Stecklein bought a loudspeaker and played chicken noises over it from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and said chicken carcasses were found stuffed in their fence after he threatened to kill the animals.

Court records show Stecklein has been issued a summons to make an initial appearance April 23 before 44th Judicial Associate Circuit Judge Raymond Gross.