Courtesy – TSCRA – Copper L. Hatley was indicted by a Falls County grand jury Oct. 18 and now faces theft of livestock charges, a third-degree felony, according to Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Marvin Wills.
The defendant, a 33-year-old from Hermleigh, purchased 18 head of cattle from a Falls County rancher on July 31. He presented a check for $20,700 in the transaction. The only problem? The check was written from an account he’d already closed. Three days later, Hatley sold the same cattle at an auction market in Central Texas.
Wills secured an arrest warrant for Hatley Aug. 11. Hatley turned himself into the Scurry County Sheriff’s Department Aug. 13 where he bonded out. The defendant remains out on bond. Wills says Hatley faces numerous other charges on separate thefts in other counties.
The special ranger said this case serves as a warning for cattle raisers.
“Anytime you’re selling something, I encourage you to verify the funds with the bank or have the money wired into your bank before you relinquish the livestock or property,” Wills said. “You can never be too careful.”