A Prattville, Alabama man has received a sentence of 57 months in prison for a illegally possessing a firearm and shooting a pregnant cow.
On November 29, 2017, Byron Jamar Esco, who had been recently released from state prison, was driving his vehicle along country roads near Hope Hull, Alabama. As he drove, the 30-year-old, unprovoked, pointed his 9 millimeter handgun at a cow grazing in a field. Esco then fired the weapon and killed the cow, which was pregnant with a calf.
Before he could drive away, the cow’s owner observed Esco’s vehicle and reported the shooting and the details of the getaway vehicle to law enforcement authorities. Early the following morning, a sheriff’s deputy found Esco driving the car. Inside the vehicle was the handgun used in the shooting.
Because Esco was previously convicted of felony offenses, he could not lawfully possess the firearm. Therefore, a grand jury charged Esco with being a felon in possession of a firearm and Esco later pleaded guilty to the crime.
At the sentencing hearing, Esco received an enhancement for possessing the firearm in furtherance of another felony offense—that felony offense being killing cattle livestock, in violation of Alabama law.
“We often assume that gun violence is a problem that exists only on city streets,” said United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin, Sr.. “Sadly, even a rural area can be the scene of needless violence, as this case demonstrates. This office, along with our law enforcement partners, is committed to make every part of this district—from city streets to country roads—safe.”