Convicted Texas cattle thief sentenced to 15 years in prison

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Hillsboro, Texas – A 53-year-old Cleburne man was sentenced to 15 years in prison today after he was found guilty of stealing five calves from a Johnson County rancher.

In 2010, Terry Shawn Linville sold five calves at the Hubbard Livestock Market, but he was flagged suspicious by the sale barn owner because of his past criminal record, which included previous cattle theft charges.

Once the victim realized he was missing calves, he reported them stolen to Johnson County Detective Steve Shaw and TSCRA Special Ranger H.D. Brittain.

Brittain was notified of Linville’s activity at the sale barn by Marvin Wills, TSCRA Special Ranger for the Hubbard area. According to Brittain, the five calves Linville sold matched the description of those stolen. DNA tests were performed on the calves which confirmed that they were in fact the same calves that were stolen.

“We are glad to see such a strong sentence handed down today,” said Brittain. “Would-be thieves need to know that we don’t take cattle theft lightly here in Texas.”

Linville was convicted of second degree felony livestock theft, a charge enhanced because of his past criminal record.  He was also ordered to pay more than $2,500 in restitution to the victim and to TSCRA for the DNA testing.

TSCRA would like to thank the many agencies, sale barns and individuals involved in this case, and especially the Hill County District Attorney's Office and Hill County Assistant District Attorney Nicole Crain.

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