Man Who Shot Pets in Front of Kids Gets Jail Time and Community Service

By: Mark Povolny and Kelly Schlicht Email
By: Mark Povolny and Kelly Schlicht Email

The man who shot six pets to death in front of children was ordered to spend nearly nine months in jail and do 100 hours of community service, preferably with animals.

34-year-old Raymond Knez of Chippewa County had pleaded no contest to causing mental harm to a child. His girlfriend, 30-year-old Chrystalyn Adcock, was sentenced to 50 hours of community service.

Court records show that Knez was drinking before he got a gun and started shooting at pets in the house. He ended up shooting four cats and two dogs. Investigators say the children saw it happen, then one of them was told to clean up the mess afterwards. Adcock was in the house at the time.

We talked to Adcock and Knez on the phone Thursday morning. They both say they're very sorry this happened. They call it a stupid drunken reaction they made instead of making a good decision. They also say they have no excuse, and want to apologize to their families, their community, and animal lovers for what they did. They say they're now in Alcoholics Anonymous classes, as well parenting and domestic violence classes.
STORY FROM 3/17/09
A prosecutor says he's received thousands of letters from all over the country about the case of a man accused of killing a half dozen pets in front of his kids.

Chippewa County District Attorney, Jon Theisen, says the story was in the National Enquirer. He adds that people on the Humane Society of the United States' email list are contacting him as well. The e-mails ask Theisen to add more charges or increase the current misdemeanor mistreatment of animal charges to felonies. Theisen says he won't add new charges or upgrade the current ones. Knez does face four other felony counts in the case.

In court Tuesday morning, attorneys agreed to delay the proceedings so his are in line with Crystalyn Adcock's. She is Knez's live-in girlfriend who is also charged in the case.

Officers say Knez admitted to drinking between 26 and 29 cans of beer in 11 hours. Then, they say he shot four cats and two dogs while the children were watching at his home near Boyd on January 28. Knez says he never meant to harm the children.
The man accused of shooting six pets in front of six children appeared in court today, and more charges are filed in connection with the case.

Knez and his attorney refused to comment on camera today. We did speak to Chippewa County District Attorney Jon Theisen, who says the court is pushing for a quick investigation because they fear Knez is a danger to the children.

"It's intoxicated ignorance, to an excessive degree. It's an embarrassment to the community,” says Theisen.

Theisen says the investigation into what happened on January 28th at Raymond Knez, Jr.’s home in Boyd continues.

“The guy willingly admits he consumed anywhere from 25 to 30 cans of beer with in a 12 hour period he fired of at least 6 rounds with a deer rifle, five of which were shot inside the residence. He killed or disposed of 5 or 6 family pets and he did it all, most of it, in the presence of his children,” says Theisen.

One count of felony mental harm to a child is filed against Knez's live-in girlfriend, Crystalyn Adcock. She's accused of making one of the girls help clean up the dead animals. She could face up to 12 and one half years in prison and more than 25 thousand dollars in fines.

"We were going to look for help from Ms. Adcock, who was not the shooter, in case Mr. Knez gave us any kind of trouble. He's going to be the primary focus of the prosecution,” says Theisen.

Knez appeared in court today, responding briefly while the judge asked him whether he understood the charges. Knez refused to comment, but his defense attorney Kate Haefner says he never meant to harm the children, and that they are "dealing with the situation as best they can."

Though Knez is out on bond, he is ordered to stay away from the children and Adcock. His next court appearance is set for March. If convicted of the charges, he faces nearly 50 years in prison.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009 Early Update:

A man and his live-in girlfriend are now formally charged after he executed 6 family pets inside a mobile home while 6 children were present.

Jon Theisen, Chippewa County District Attorney, has charged 33-year-old Raymond Knez Jr. with felony first degree reckless endangerment, three felony counts of mental harm to a child, misdemeanor possession of a firearm while intoxicated, and three misdemeanor counts of mistreating animals. The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of 53 years and 3 months in prison.

Theisen tells WEAU 13 News he is also charging 30-year-old Chrystalyn Adcock with one felony count of mental harm to a child. Theisen says he's charging Adcock because she made one of the kids clean up the dead pets. Adcock faces 12 years and 6 months in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Knez rounded up 2 dogs and 4 cats and shot them. One of the dogs and all four cats were shot inside the family’s mobile home and 6 children were in the house when it happened. The complaint shows one of the children believed another cat survived the shooting and was injured and alive inside the home.

Investigators say Knez told them he used a .280 scoped rifle to kill the animals. Knez told deputies a dog was killed in a fight with another dog last Tuesday. His girlfriend of 8 years, Chrystalyn Adcock, was extremely upset so he told her he would take the dogs to a pound or the vet or shoot them.

The complaint says Knez then told investigators he spent the next 11 hours drinking 26 to 29 cans of beer. He also went to a bar in Stanley in the middle of his drinking spree and talked about killing the animals there. Investigators say Knez left the bar thinking he could legally shoot the family dogs.

Around 5:30 a.m. last Wednesday (January 28), Knez loaded the rifle, went outside, and shot a black dog. The then carried that dog’s body back inside and showed it to Adcock. The complaint says Knez then decided to kill the rest of the pets. He found one of the kids’ dogs, stepped on it in the hallway, and shot it. Investigators say he then hunted through the mobile home for the reset of the pets and made one of the kids help him catch the cats.

Knez told investigators he shot one of the cats by stepping on it and pinning it to the floor. He killed another by holding it in his left hand, extending his arm, and shooting it with the gun in his right hand. Knez told deputies his hand still hurt from the impact of that shot.

The complaint says one of the children was upset and wanted to stay home from school. Adcock allowed the 11-year-old girl to stay home but made her clean up the dead animals while she went out to buy more beer. Another child in the home was told not to say anything at school.

Knez will be in court Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. for his initial appearance. Watch WEAU 13 News at 5 and 6 for updates to this developing story.

Knez was first in Chippewa County court Thursday morning. The judge set his bail at $1,000 and ordered Knez have no contact with the 6 kids. Knez posted his bail on Thursday afternoon and was released from jail. He was arrested Wednesday on 5 counts of mistreating animals, recklessly endangering safety, endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon and causing mental harm to a child.

Deputies got a phone call early Wednesday morning that something was wrong at family’s home south of Boyd on County Highway ‘D.’

Knez and Chrystalyn Adcock have been together for 8 years. She says Knez was upset that his parents’ dog killed her dog on Tuesday. She didn't want to go on camera but says they had at least 12 beers each before going to a bar in Stanley late Tuesday night.

Sometime after the kids started getting up for school Wednesday morning, she says Knez shot 4 cats and 2 dogs. Deputies say Knez rounded up the 6 animals and killed them execution-style, in front of his kids. They say this is one of the worst cases of animal abuse they can remember.

"The manner that he was holding some of the animals as well as him pursuing them in different areas of the house and cornering them and then discharging the firearm," says Capt. Eugene Gutsch, with the Chippewa Co. Sheriff’s Dept. "The children, a total of 6, were present in the residence when this was occurring."

Adcock says the kids, all between 10 and 14 years old, were scared and crying but Knez just lost it. She says he isn’t a bad guy and told the kids not to say anything at school so he wouldn't get in trouble. One of the children, an 11-year-old girl, stayed home and the first deputy on-scene found her home alone.

"One of the reasons the girl did stay home was to clean up the mess,” Gutsch says. “There is an indication that there were dead animals in the residence. There was blood and things in the residence.”

The deputy found Knez on the property and arrested him. Investigators saw blood outside and took 3 guns from the mobile home, including a .280 caliber rifle used in the killings. Gutsch says officers were very worried for the children's safety.

"Exposing them to that chaotic environment of a firearm being discharged in the residence and their pets being killed before them," he says.

Gutsch says the Dept. of Human Services immediately put all 6 kids in protective custody. He also says deputies have been out to the Knez home in the past for child welfare calls but never found anything this serious.

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  • by djc on Jun 13, 2009 at 05:27 PM
    first the kids need to be removed from the home where is social services they show up and removed the kids after fact why wasn't the mother charged? She should be for exposing her children to this kind of life style. these kids deserve a good life! this mother isn't fit and should be charged with child endagerment a man that can kill animals in this manner is capable of doing anything
  • by Lavone Location: Cumberland, WI on May 9, 2009 at 07:25 AM
    This is a very sad and disturbing situation. My thoughts are what else have these children gone through before this one!!! situation was found out about.
  • by anonymous Location: unknown on May 9, 2009 at 01:34 AM
    So if everyone is so mad at him for what he did they why isn't anyone upset with what the girlfriend got.I personally spoke to him and the kids they both say she loaded the gun and held it a few times too.I'm not saying what he did was right or wrong all I'm saying is she should have gotten the samething as he did.She should have even gotten party to a crime or something like that.But now everyone is upset with him well she took just as much part in it as he did.Atleast he had his kids the girlfriend didn't have her's at all she didn't even know where they were living.
  • by Anonymous Location: Durand on May 8, 2009 at 12:15 PM
    Wow, maybe some of the people leaving comments on here, also need help. There is something wrong with you, if you say that the only thing wrong with the situation was that he shoot them in front of his kids. Also, as far as there being to many cats and dogs, if there were not so many idiots like the one that left that comment that don't spay and neuter your pets, maybe we wouldn't have so many! Come on people, its only comman sense, there was something wrong with this man!!
  • by anonymous Location: unknown on May 8, 2009 at 08:52 AM
    Just because the outside of the residence isn't cleaned up nobody knows what the inside looks like.For anyone knows it could be very clean inside the home.I know the family very good and well if other people would stop dumping their animals off at their house then there wouldn't have been any there for him to shoot.He did not make the child stay home his girlfriend did. Now people need to move on and drop it
  • by ab Location: ec on May 7, 2009 at 11:15 PM
    Not enough jail time is all I have to say! I feel so bad for the poor children involved,especially the one that had to "clean" up after this losers rant! Ray needs some serious help!!!I sure hope and pray these kids don't end up with these two low lifes again! They will be scarred for life!
  • by anonymous Location: Neillsville on May 7, 2009 at 09:11 PM
    I don't think they should have him working with animals for his community service. The whole thing makes me sick!!!
  • by Anne Location: Chippewa Co on May 7, 2009 at 07:59 PM
    I couldn't agree more, Sarah. I'm tired of listening to people whine about killing those animals. Truly, if you knew the conditions that those poor animals lived in...they are better off. The problem is the fact that he did this in from of the kids and the fact that the kids were living in these conditions. We shouldn't be surprised that this guy only got a slap on the wrist. Chippewa County justice at its best. Chippewa Co gives these criminals chance after chance after chance. It's disgusting. The perps have more rights than the community and victims. And don't call Chipp Co to accompany you to get property from an abusive ex...they only tell you to call 911 if you have any trouble. A person could be dead by then!!!
  • by Anonymous on May 7, 2009 at 06:18 PM
    True enough there are too many cats and dogs already. The reason we have this pet overpopulation is because there are too many people out there that are irresponsible and no good. Every pet owner should be fixing their animal.
  • by Anonymous on May 7, 2009 at 05:57 PM
    some people shouldn't have pets or kids and some of these comments are beyond belief sick
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