North Adams Man Arraigned On Charges Of Animal Cruelty; Pleads Not Guilty
By: Staff Reports On: 04:15PM / Monday June 14, 2010
Wayne Brackett walks the track and Noel Field during Relay for Life in 2010 in this iBerkshires file photo.
Update Monday, June 14, 2010: Brackett was arraigned this morning in Northern Berkshire District Court on charges of five counts of animal cruelty and breaking and entering and malicious destruction of property. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.
WTEN reports that Brackett was ordered held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. His family was in court with him. His mothertold Channel 10 News that the family would stand beside him but "there is no excuse, there is justification, there is no anything, but he needs help." She said the family would stand beside him.
Brackett apparently told police he had been drinking and smoking pot and that he doesn't remember anything.
Brackett has been in trouble before. In 2005, he and two friends were arrested in connection with breaking and entering and car thefts. The three teens had reportedly broken into the Windsor Mill and stolen guitars and twice broke into then Gateway Chevrolet, stealing two cars they took joy riding.
His sister is reportedly battling cancer and Brackett participated in the Relay for Life fundraiser last month at Noel Field.
Taken from security cameras by WTEN.
UPDATE: Friday, June 11, at 6 p.m.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Wayne C. Brackett Jr. of North Adams was arrested Friday afternoon in connection with the bunny killings that occurred Tuesday night.
Brackett, 23, turned himself in to police at around 3:30 p.m., according to Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morocco.
Brackett is being held on $10,000 bail and will be arraigned at Northern Berkshire District Court on Monday morning. He faces numerous charges, including five counts of animal cruelty, five counts of malicious killing of an animal and one count of breaking and entering at night.
Morocco confirmed that an investigation by police and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) had successfully identified the suspect. After interviewing Brackett, MSPCA Sgt. Roy Sutton and local police searched Brackett's residence and found evidence that supported the charges against him.
"The MSPCA Law Enforcement and North Adams Police departments have been actively pursuing the suspect's identity and collecting crucial evidence since Tuesday evening," said Sutton in a statement on MSPCA's website.
In an interview with iBerkshires.com on Friday afternoon, Morocco said Brackett was "sullen" at the time of arrest. The arrest comes after police received an outpouring of community involvement over the last several days.
"We literally received 100 tips," Morocco said. "I don't think he had a choice [but to turn himself in]. We had pretty much narrowed it down to him."
A reward leading to the arrest and conviction of the bunny killer ballooned to $9,000 in a couple of days, including large donations from the MSPCA, North Adams Police, Pittsfield Police and $5,000 from a WTEN News sponsor. The killings also resulted in an outpouring of support for the Duquette family, whose 6-year-old daughter had been raising the bunnies with her grandfather.
"I've been around a long time, and I've seen people do a lot of things to a lot of other people," said Morocco. "When it happens to animals, it's a whole different issue, especially since they depend on us for so much.
"People do a lot of cruel things. I've seen a lot of stuff, but never with this much anger."
To view WTEN's report of the arrest, click here. The Albany, N.Y., television station was among the first on the scene Wednesday morning.
UPDATE: Thursday, June 10, at 5:10 p.m.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police are still on the lookout for a white male between the ages of 16 to 20 years old, who is responsible for killing five rabbits Tuesday night at Berkshire County Construction on Ashland Street.
As of 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Public Safety Commissioner E. John Morocco said the case was "put to bed for the day, unless something happens tonight." Asked if there were any leads in the case, Morocco said he could not divulge that information, adding that "there is nothing new to report."
Morocco said, in an interview with the North Adams Transcript, the suspect is approximately 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weighs between 140 and 160 pounds. The suspect is facing felony charges of malicious destruction of the animal of another and cruelty to animals. If convicted, he faces up to 2 1/2 years in state prison and up to a $2,500 fine.
Police suspect, but cannot confirm, that the male is also responsible for two other acts of vandalism that occurred shortly before the animal attacks took place. According to reports, a camper at Windsor Lake was broken into and two trucks at Construction Drilling Co. on Ashland Street were smashed.
Morocco said that the reward for information leading to the suspect's arrest is between $6,000 and $9,000.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call North Adams Police at 413-664-4944.
UPDATE: Wednesday, June 9
Police are investigating the bizarre killing of five pet rabbits Tuesday night at Berkshire County Construction on Ashland Street. The culprit apparently broke into two other locations before brutalizing the rabbits.
The case was still under investigation and no one had yet been arrested, said North Adams Police Sgt. James Foley.
Security footage shows what appears to be a young man wearing a trucker cap, black hooded sweat shirt, camouflage pants and a backpack terrorizing the rabbits, kicking them and tossing them. Foley said the suspect was first picked up by the security cameras about 8:30, at least a half-hour before he broke a window and set off the alarm. By the time police arrived, he'd fled the scene.
The individual also is believed to have broken into a drilling company across the street from Berkshire County Construction and a camper at Windsor Lake. "The park people chased him out of there," said Foley.
The man knocked over the hutches, freeing 14 of the 17 rabbits being raised by the owner's father and his young daughter. Foley said five were killed but all 14 were affected. "These are domestic rabbits. They were let loose and put in danger from other animals," he said.
Animal cruelty is a felony in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has launched its own investigation and removed the bunnies' bodies this morning to be autopsied.
Both the police and MSPCA are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator, said Foley.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call North Adams Police at 413-664-4944.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
This is one of the most upsetting stories I think I have seen in a very long time. You know research shows in almost 100% of all cases of serial killers, they abused animals as a youth. He still walks among us! It just makes me very sad.
Why can't they get a better face shot from the cameras?? With all the technology today you'd think they could blow it up better and then post his picture in the papers, news, etc...someone has to know this wacko.
It is a very sad situation. When he gets caught, I hope he goes to jail for a long time. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior. However, when people make comments about tearing him apart the same way, makes you no different than him.
The difference is he tortured innocent animals unprovoked. He deserves the same treatment. I don't want our taxes to be wasted on supporting this POS. Anyone that could do this to an animal is defective. I hope he dies a slow, horrific death, like the animals he tortured.
i hope this sick little punk gets everything he deserves in and out of Jail!!! this person is obviously a worthless human being and must have been on some sort of drugs to be so brainless! i just hope whoever watches the footage and recognizes him, even if it is a parent; turns the loser In! (just to let you all know this was a much milder version of what i put on my facebook)!
This disgusting sociopath has too much time on his hands, he is bored and pathetic murderer and a danger to animals, people, he would do this to a new born baby..or an elderly person, he eneds to be locked up for ever behind bars..he is not human...here is his info and pics on his page
Thank you tipsters who called in info. Innocent animals this psycopath harmed and brutally beat and killed. Let's go after BP now people for all the harm and death they caused the pelicans, fish, sea creatures not to mention the men who died on their rig. They are no different then this murder. He has to be put away for life. I don't want to read he was strung out on drugs. Evidently he doesn't work so he needs money any way he can get it. His family should be ashamed they raised a monster.
I think that the anger level about the event that happened the other day needs so simmer down. When you hear what his father has to say your heart has to break for his family. I have seen his myspace page and see nothing that would say murder. When someone is down and out we handle it different. He lost his sister to cancer and that in its self can be hard. I know what he did is wrong but lets take a step back and look at the whole picture.
Punish that sick, waste of a life to the highest extent allowed by law! THE RABBITS INNOCENTLY APPROACHED HIM......OMG, that brought tears to a grown man's eyes!!!!!! He is lucky I, or any other "helpless" animal lover didn't find him 1st. Anyone that can attend his arraignment, or trials...please show your support in convicting this sicko for as long as we can..hundreds of people if need be! Let's show this sicko and everyone, North Adams truly cared!. Put him away IN CEDAR JUNCTION, not BHC!:) See you all in court! Please.
From today's NY Times report on animal cruelty: "We discovered that in homes where there was domestic violence or physical abuse of children, the incidence of animal cruelty was close to 90 percent. The most common pattern was that the abusive parent had used animal cruelty as a way of controlling the behaviors of others in the home. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at what links things like animal cruelty and child abuse and domestic violence. And one of the things is the need for power and control. Animal abuse is basically a power-and-control crime.”
wayne is not a vicious person, he is a person who is there for you in time of need he is the type of person who would do anything for anyone. He has been going through a lot with the unfortunate illness of his sister, holding things inside to show strenght for your family sometimes can prove to do more harm then good, as in this instant. I think he just cracked under the pressure of it all. My heart goes out to wayne and his family, i also feel very bad for the family who lost teir pets in such a brutal way. Human compassion is needed in a case like this, I hope people can see theres always more than the eye can see.
Compassion..COMPASSION!!!! for this bum..what compassion did he show..he went on a rampage a out and out killing rampage...He was trying to pull a B&E and not just one time..but a few more on the same day.And when that did go as planed..He took it out unfortunate pets..Over the death of his sister..Hey family friend we all lose the ones who are dear to us..But we do not go out and kill other liveing things over our loss..Your telling the world it's ok that he did this.And to look at it from his POV and to feel some kind of compassion for this POS..Get real open your eyes he is a killer in the.. makeing
To friend of family. I have to agree with DKE on this one- he ripped the ears and tails off!! with his bare hands!!! Do you know what screaming rabbits sound like?!!! do you understand how much force that had to have been used to rip out the bones,cartilage and skin off those rabbits? Do you know that he had to have smelled the iron from all that blood? That is not something a normal person would do even if they lost/are losing their sister,brother, mother father or whatever.... and it is certainly not an excuse, the brutality that he showed out weighs the sympathy he should get for his family troubles. I highly doubt his sister is at all proud of him for this. He should be charged to the highest degree that the law will allow, and he obviously needs mental help, you should never EVER let your rage go this far. Even if he "cracked under the pressure of it all" it doesn't mean the judge should just be like "oh ok, your sister is ill so this all ok, you can just go home now" nope there needs to be harsh consequences for what he did. It would have been one thing if he broke a few windows or destroyed some property, but not ripping apart innocent creatures with your bare hands. You say he is not a viscous person...well that night he most certainly was a vicious person, and there does need to be consequences. I mean what if he just "snapped" like this when his children were around ( at least i heard he has kids, but if he doesn't then just when children were around) If he can't control that sort of rage and brutality then I really don't want him anywhere near Berkshire County, I love my dogs more than anything- I would be devastated if he was walking by and just got pissed and decided to jump over the fence into my backyard and beat and torture them to death, because he's obviously capable of doing that. He didn't just torture these poor bunnies to death, he scared the crap out of nearly everyone who lives around here, broke the Duquette's families hearts, and most likely his own family's' heart as well. Maybe you just don't understand, or are in denial or don't appreciate the the severity of what he did, but you sound like he shouldn't be punished at all.