The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office will not be filing any criminal charges against Randy Christ for the killing of the dogs that occurred on September 28 in Brentwood.
The District Attorney will file criminal charges against Randy Christ’s son, Jonathan Christ, for material lies and omission which delayed and obstructed a police officer in the discharge of their official duties, in violation of section 148(a) of the Penal Code, a misdemeanor.
The following Press Release was put out today by Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office:
The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office has completed a review of the killing of two dogs in the city of Brentwood on September 28, 2013. The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office will not be filing any criminal charges against Randy Christ for the killing of the dogs because the killing of the dogs was not unlawful. However, this office will file criminal charges against Randy Christ’s son, Jonathan Christ, for material lies and omission which delayed and obstructed a police officer in the discharge of their official duties, in violation of section 148(a) of the Penal Code, a misdemeanor. The facts of this investigation are reported below.
On the morning of September 28, 2013, a neighbor and a passing cyclist saw two dogs (later identified as “Luke” and “Jager”) inside a chicken coop on the property located at 550 Creek Road, Brentwood, California, killing and chasing chickens. The two dogs, owned by Ellen Barkley of Brentwood, had escaped from the back yard of the family residence earlier in the morning and were at large. The neighbor called Jonathan Christ, the owner of the chicken coop, and notified him of the observations. Jonathan Christ then called his father, Randy Christ, who was at the residence at 550 Creek Road. Jonathan Christ told Randy Christ about the dogs killing chickens in the chicken coop. Randy Christ went out to the chicken coop and found two dogs, an adult German Shepard and adult Rottweiler, in the act of killing and chasing numerous chickens in the chicken coop. Some 20 chickens had already been killed by the dogs, and the dogs were actively pursuing other poultry. At that time, Randy Christ shot and killed both dogs.
Later that same morning, Jonathan Christ arrived at 550 Creek Road and took three photographs, one showing the deceased dogs in the chicken coop, and two of the dead chickens. Jonathan Christ then loaded the dogs and chickens onto his truck and transported the carcasses to 1300 Camino Diablo Road in Byron California, the address of G3 Enterprises. Mr. Jonathan Christ was employed by G3 Enterprises at the time. Jonathan Christ drove onto the property and dumped all the carcasses over an embankment into a ravine. Neither Randy Christ nor Jonathan Christ reported the killing of the dogs to Brentwood Police Department or Contra Costa Animal Control Services.
On September 29, 2013 Brentwood Police Department was called to 550 Creek Road to investigate a disturbing the peace call. Upon arrival, officers found Kathleen Barkley, the daughter of Ellen Barkley, at the residence attempting to obtain information from members of the Christ family about what happened to the dogs “Luke” and “Jager”. Contra Costa County Animal Control was called to the scene. At that time, Jonathan Christ falsely reported to Animal Control that he had found the dogs in the chicken coop the day before and had confronted and killed them by beating them to death with a shovel. He then stated that he took the carcasses of all the dead animals to a remote area of the county and burned and buried them.
In the early morning hours of October 1, 2013, Jonathan Christ took some ashes of unknown origin and planted them in an area on the G3 property. Later that morning, Jonathan Christ took Animal Control Officer Miller to the area where he had planted the ashes. He told Officer Miller that was the area he had buried the carcasses. Officer Miller examined the site and took soil samples to be tested.
On October 3, 2013 an employee of G3 Enterprises located the carcasses that had been dumped in the ravine by Jonathan Christ. Animal Control officers arrived on scene and collected the carcasses of the two dogs “Luke” and “Jager”. Both dogs had been shot. Animal control also collected two garbage bags filled with dead chickens and a dead white turkey. Later that day Animal control officers contacted Jonathan Christ who confessed to lying about killing the dogs himself. Christ explained that he made up the story about killing the dogs with a shovel, and about burning the remains, to protect his father from possible arrest for discharging a firearm.
The totality of the evidence clearly demonstrates that Mr. Randy Christ killed the two dogs while the dogs were found in the act of killing, wounding, or persistently pursuing or worrying poultry. California Food and Agricultural Code section 31102 allows any person to kill a dog found in the act of killing, wounding, or pursuing or worrying poultry. Therefore, Randy Christ will not be charged with the killing of the dogs or animal abuse in violation of section 597 of the California Penal Code. Discharging a firearm in that area of the county was also not unlawful so no charges will be filed in that regard either. However, Mr. Jonathan Christ’s lies and fabrications obstructed an official law enforcement investigation for several days, and created significant and completely unnecessary emotional harm to the owners of the dogs, and the community at large. He will be charged.