A Brentwood man who allegedly lied to police to cover up that his father fatally shot a neighbor’s dogs was charged by the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office today. Jonathan Christ was charged with fabricating material lies and omission which delayed and obstructed police officers when they were investigating the death of a Rottweiler named Jager and German Shepherd named Luke, belonging to Brentwood resident Ellen Barkley.
The dogs were killed on Sept. 28 after they escaped Barkley’s backyard and made their way to a chicken coop at 550 Creek Road in Brentwood, a property owned by Jonathan Christ’s father, Randy Christ, according to the district attorney’s office. Apparently the dogs were chasing and killing chickens in the coop. Randy Christ eventually went out to the chicken coop and found the two dogs chasing chickens, and found 20 chickens that had already been killed. Randy Christ then shot and killed the dogs, according to prosecutors.
Later that morning, Jonathan Christ arrived at his father’s residence and took three photographs of the dead dogs and the dead chickens. He then allegedly loaded the dogs and chickens into his truck and took them to G3 Enterprises at 1300 Camino Diablo Road in Bryon where he was employed at the time, prosecutors said. He allegedly drove onto the property and dumped the carcasses over an embankment into a ravine. The father and son did not report the killing of the dogs.
On Sept. 29, police were called to the Christ residence where Kathleen Barkley, daughter of dog owner Ellen Barkley, was trying to get information about her missing dogs. Jonathan Christ at the time told authorities that he had found the dogs in the chicken coop and killed them by beating the animals to death with a shovel. He said he took the carcasses to a remote part of the county and buried them.
On Oct. 1, Jonathan Christ allegedly took ashes and planted them in an area on the G3 property, prosecutors said. Later that morning he took authorities to the area and told an officer that was where he had buried the dogs. The officer also took a sample of the ashes. Two days later a G3 employee found the dog carcasses and reporting the findings. Officers found that both dogs had been shot, according to the district attorney’s office. Animal control officers also found two garbage bags filled with dead chickens and a dead turkey had been dumped.
Later that day, Jonathan Christ confessed to lying about killing the dogs himself to protect his father from possible arrest. Following an investigation, the district attorney’s office found that Randy Christ had killed the dogs by shooting them. However since he killed the animals while they were killing his poultry, state Food and Agriculture Code sanctions the killings, prosecutors said. As to firearm violations, that part of the county allows him to have discharged a firearm to protect his poultry. No charges were filed against Randy Christ. Jonathan Christ was charged for obstructing the law enforcement investigation and creating unnecessary emotional harm to the owners of the dogs, according to the district’s attorney office.
A fundraising page and online petition have been set up by the dog owners to try to change California law about sanctioned animal killings. According to their fundraising website, the dog owners want shootings to be reported even if permissible by law and for perpetrators to be charged with animal abuse. “Please sign the petition and help us change the law so that domestic animals killed by any person to protect livestock, will be required by law to report the incident to the authorities… this should never happen to another family,” the family wrote on the fundraising website.
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