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Police arrest third suspect in 2013 cow shooting in North Stonington

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State police last Thursday arrested the third and final suspect in the 2013 shooting of two cows in North Stonington, one of which had to be euthanized.

Police said in an incident report that the other two suspects turned themselves in promptly in 2013 but that Todd Caswell, 30, left Connecticut before an arrest warrant was granted and had been a fugitive from justice ever since.

Caswell has been charged with illegal discharge of a firearm, discharging a firearm from a public highway, keeping a loaded gun in a motor vehicle, cruelty to animals, criminal attempt at cruelty to animals, first-degree criminal mischief, conspiracy, and first-degree reckless endangerment.

Police said he was taken to Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center pending arraignment last Friday. He was held on a $100,000 bond and is next scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 22.

In January 2013, North Stonington Resident State Trooper Timothy Donahue said police were investigating the shooting of two cows owned by the Palmer Farm on East Clark Falls Road the weekend of Jan. 19-20.

Asa Palmer, then a Wheeler High School senior, told The Day at the time he found his Ayrshire heifer Angel that Saturday morning with her jaw shot off, her tongue so swollen she couldn't swallow. The cow was put down.

Palmer said a bullet lodged near the spine of a second cow, a Holstein, and that the bullet would be in the back of that cow for life.

"There has to be a special place in hell like for people like that. They have to just be degenerates," Palmer said at the time.

Resident State Trooper David Abely said in 2013 that three suspects apparently used a rifle to shoot from the road at a group of 12 cows in the field, and neighbors reported five gunshots in the early morning hours that Saturday.

Then-state Rep. Diana Urban, D-North Stonington, a strong animal rights advocate, announced a fund to raise money for Palmer.

In February 2013, state police arrested Max Urso, also a Wheeler senior at the time, and Henry Williamson. They said Caswell was the one who pulled the trigger of the hunting rifle.

On July 16 of this year, state police were notified that Caswell was in custody in Rhode Island, according to the incident report from last week. Last Thursday, detectives from the Eastern District Major Crime Squad went to the Kent County Courthouse in Warwick, R.I., and extradited Caswell to Troop E in Montville.

e.moser@theday.com

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