2015-07-29 / Front Page

Awaiting trial for starving dogs


A Burke County man who is facing trial for starving six hunting dogs to death will now answer to three new felony charges.

Stephen Matthew Crooms, 27, turned himself in at the Burke County Jail this morning (Thursday) after three warrants for his arrest were issued out of McIntosh County.

According to Chief Larry Lewis of the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, he will be extradited this afternoon on charges of theft by deception; deposit account fraud; and false statements and writings/concealment of facts.

McIntosh County investigators told The True Citizen that all three charges are connected to a 23-ft., twin motor boat and trailer that Crooms purchased from someone at the Dallas Bluff Marina in Townsend last month.

Several days after the deal, his check was returned.

 “He wrote a check for $13,500 on July 3,” said Major Danny Lowe, who heads up the investigation division for the McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office. “The Queensborough Bank vice-president verified the check had been written from an account that had been closed since April 9.”

Major Lewis said Crooms voluntarily brought the boat to the sheriff’s office where it will picked up by McIntosh authorities.

Prior to this arrest, Crooms had been out of jail on bond for one misdemeanor and six felony counts of cruelty to animals. He was arrested back in January after six dead deer-hunting dogs and several malnourished ones were found on his property. While Crooms denied that five of the dogs were his, there were collars on the decayed and still-chained carcasses with his name and telephone number. 

Return to top