Sat, Mar 16, 2013
On Saturday, March 9, 2013 around 4 pm, deputies with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office were called to the area around the NC Department of Corrections, Western Youth Institute on Western Avenue.
They were responding to a report of a male subject that was on the grounds of the prison, covered in blood. Deputies encountered Matthew Dean Lail on Western Avenue.
Lail was covered in blood and had a razor box cutter in his possession. As the officers were questioning Lail, Burke County Sheriff’s Office was notified by Mr. Benny Goins that someone had driven a 1998 Toyota Four Runner through his pasture fence and struck two of his cows.
Mr. Goins advised that one of the cows had suffered numerous lacerations to it’s body and to the animal’s throat. The second cow had suffered a broken rear leg.
Deputies responded to the victim’s home and found the two animals and the Toyota SUV in the victim’s pasture. The SUV had heavy damage to the front end and was not operational.
Due to the injuries that the animals suffered, both had to be euthanized.
Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigators were notified and responded to the victim’s home and processed the scene.
During the investigation it was discovered that Lail was the driver of the Toyota SUV and had crashed through the fence and intentionally chased the animals down, striking the cows with his vehicle.
After hitting the second cow, his vehicle was disabled. Lail exited his vehicle and began to cut the downed animal with a box cutter and a pocket knife.
Lail fled the scene through the woods and then on to the Department of Corrections property.
Lail was charged with two counts of malicious cruelty to animals and placed in the Burke County Jail under a $30,000.00 secured bond. First court appearance is scheduled for March 11, 2013.
Further charges are pending.