An Arkansas man has pled guilty to charges of felony cattle theft that earned him a five year sentence in state prison.
Bradley Wayne Guthrey, 29, of North Little Rock, is described as a “serial cattle thief” by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) who assisted in his conviction. TSCRA Special Ranger Larry Hand and former TSCRA Special Ranger Toney Hurley led an investigation that started on Dec. 9, 2014. Hand was called to the Panola Livestock Auction in Texas to inspect a load of cattle that was dropped off by Guthrey.
When Guthrey fled the scene when he returned to the sale barn upon seeing Hand and Panola County Constable Bryan Murff investigating. A high speed chase ensued with the two lawmen chasing Guthery until he crashed through a gate and then escaped on foot.
A seven hour manhunt followed that involved involving state and local police, K9 units and a Department of Public Safety helicopter. Eventually, former TSCRA Special Ranger Hurley negotiated Guthrey’s surrender by phone.
Assistance from other Special Rangers including Hal Dumas, Marvin Wills, Jimmy Dickson and Brent Mast led to numerous additional thefts that Guthery was involved.
Guthery and an accomplice, Levi Boyd, went on a crime spree during 2014 where they stole more than 70 head of cattle across Arkansas and Texas. They also stole livestock equipment in both states and had outstanding warrants in Arkansas and Oklahoma for other crimes.
Because of the number of investigations involving Guthery, he has been incarcerated in various jurisdiction throughout Texas since his arrest in 2014.
The guilty plea for felony cattle theft was entered on Nov. 1, 2018, related to the theft in Panola County.
The case serves as a reminder for cattle producers to brand their cattle, says Hand.
Guthery told investigators from TSCRA that he specifically targeted unbranded cattle since they are harder to identify by authorities.
“The suspect in this case identified unbranded cattle off rural roads roaming in pastures with no nearby homes and he targeted them.” Hand said following the arrest in 2014, “Guthrey was able to capture the cattle with a bag of cubes he kept in his pickup. It is crucial that ranchers properly secure their property, report suspicious activity and keep an accurate count of livestock.”
TSCRA thanks everyone involved in the investigation investigation, especially the Panola County District Attorney’s Office, Panola County Sheriff’s Office and Panola County Constable Bryan Murff for their assistance on the case.
For more on the theft cases involving Guthrey read the following stories: