Sheep abuser is center of debate
Man fights inclusion on sex registry
March 3, 2006
BY JIM SCHAEFER
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Jeffrey Haynes, 42, pleaded no contest to sodomy in the case. He was
sentenced to 2 1/2 to 20 years in February.
Thelma's wounds are healing now. And yet, when anyone comes close, she gets
skittish and mean. Sometimes she'll even ram her head into Lori Wyman, the
woman who has raised her since she was just a lamb.
The little red barn with the tin roof where Thelma lives has changed, too.
There are extra lights to pierce the shadows and cameras overhead to capture
any unusual activity.
Wyman says someone, with some frequency over the last year and a half,
invaded her 20-acre property in rural Calhoun County and sexually assaulted
Thelma and another sheep named Louise.
She blames one man. And today, in no small part to Wyman's efforts, Jeffrey
S. Haynes, 42, is in prison. Haynes pleaded no contest to having sex with
Thelma one cold winter night last year on Wyman's farm near Battle Creek.
In recent weeks, the case has gone from office-joke fodder to a cause
celebre for animal rights activists. And it has ignited a legal debate that
could extend to the Michigan Legislature over whether the judge properly
consigned Haynes to the state's sex-offender registry upon his release.
At its heart, the search for Thelma's attacker is also a unique detective
Unraveling the mystery
Haynes was paroled from state prison in January 2004, after serving terms
for home invasion and breaking and entering. He has relatives near Wyman's
farm, and her pet sheep were visible in their pasture from a road that runs
Within months, Wyman said someone began invading her property and regularly
trashing her sheep barns. When she discovered a rope and a rag near the
sheep feeder, she became convinced someone was attacking her animals.
Wyman, a cop in a neighboring community, said she caught Haynes on her
property late one night in January 2005 and held him for 40 minutes until
Battle Creek police arrived.
Haynes initially told police he entered the farm to relieve himself, then
said he had gone behind her barn to pet her sheep.
Wyman showed the officers fresh footprints in the knee-deep snow that went
around the barn and urged them to examine Thelma, who appeared to Wyman to
Police declined to arrest Haynes, which Wyman took as a sign she was not
being taken seriously. Undeterred, she called a veterinarian at 1 a.m. to
swab the sheep for possible human DNA. Police shipped the specimen to the
State Police crime laboratory in Lansing.
The next day, Detective Sarah Bush questioned Haynes, who was indignant.
"You're accusing me of ... doing something to a sheep?" he asked during the
Before he left, Haynes agreed to give a DNA sample, allowing a police
sergeant to swab his mouth.
DNA testing is commonly used in rape cases involving humans, with analysts
comparing semen or other fluids found on a victim with material taken from a
suspect. State Police Capt. Michael Thomas, director of the forensic science
division, said typical DNA analysis takes six months to complete. The Thelma
tests took seven months and cost taxpayers about $1,000.
He called the sheep test "very rare, thank God."
Back at the farm, Wyman said strange things were still happening.
The night she caught Haynes, Wyman said she told him she would shoot him if
he ever returned to her property. In the following months, she made other
calls to police. Bush, the detective, visited the farm and saw a rope tied
to a tree, with clumps of wool clinging to it.
In September, Bush met once again with Haynes, but this time she had the lab
report linking his DNA to Thelma.
"Unless there's an alien that lives on Mars that came down here and ... has
your DNA," Bush said, pausing, "do you understand what I'm saying?"
"Um hmm," Haynes acknowledged. He said later: "If I did do it, which I'm
saying I'm not, that is a sick person, and if I did do it, I'm sick."
He was arrested and has been incarcerated ever since.
Since then, local morning DJs lampooned his case, which was publicized on
newspaper wire services and on the Internet. Wyman said she heard jokes from
family, Battle Creek police, strangers and coworkers -- and found none of
After Haynes pleaded no contest to sodomy, Calhoun County Circuit Judge
Conrad Sindt sentenced him on Feb. 13 to serve 2 1/2 to 20 years. Labeling
Haynes "sexually perverted," Sindt also issued an almost unheard-of order:
Haynes must register as a sex offender upon his release.
The judge accepted the view of the county prosecutor, John Hallacy, and
animal rights groups, which wrote dozens of letters, arguing that Thelma's
violation suggested Haynes also posed a risk to humans.
"He is a cruel monster," wrote an animal lover from Nevada. "Please stop him
before his next victim is a child."
Even the late comedian Richard Pryor, a longtime animal activist, asked for
the maximum punishment in a letter written two months before he died in
Actually, the few studies done on the subject have yielded no consensus on
whether there is a link between animal sex abuse and sexual assaults on
At sentencing, Haynes accepted "full responsibility" and said he was sorry,
the Battle Creek Enquirer wrote. But he added, "I should not be treated as a
child molester." He appealed the registry order.
Hallacy, the prosecutor, conceded this week that upon further review, the
law is murky on whether Haynes belongs on the sex offender list. But he said
he'll consider asking the Legislature to intervene if a judge reverses the
Haynes' attorneys declined comment. But his ex-girlfriend, Cheryl Handyside,
said she doubts Haynes belongs on the registry. But she acknowledged that
the time I was around him, I never thought he'd have sex with a sheep,
Contact JIM SCHAEFER at 313-223-4542 or email@example.com
He should NOT be put on the registry.
He should be beaten savagely and then thrown off a high cliff.
He looks a little like a barnyard animal.
Here's the story with photos -
But, but.......maybe they were in love?.........
Not an uncommon occurance, we had a guy here busted doing a goat. Fricken perverts.....
Does laughing at this make me a bad man?
Because, even though it's terrible for the animals, it's fuckin' HILARIOUS.
Bending laws so they mean all things to all people isn't the answer. It would be simple for the state legislature to amend the law so zoophiles are elgible for the list. Perverting the law in order to punish a pervert is a dumb way to mete out justice. Of course any 'for the children' bleat (no pun intended) from the unwashed masses seems to be given serious weight by the politicians today, so I'm sure the integrity of the law will be ignored.
He was not able to pull the wool over the law's eyes for long. Ewes know what I mean?
I was a court clerk in Harris County, TX. (Houston) for 5 years and we had several people on our docket for sex with animals. One guy made a table to secure his dog to so he could go at it.
ETA: To clarify, I worked on the Probable Cause docket. They would bring in 30 or so people who had been arrested sometime in the previous 12-24 hours. I always liked watching the rest of the defendants on cases like this. They DA would read the PC in court and everyone looks like the "WTF cat". Then after the defendant signs his paperwork and goes to sit down everyone scoots away from him.
The judged say "Son, what the hell were you thinking when you did that??"
The guy repies "Well your honor....I was probably thinking of a younger, hotter sheep"