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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Pig slayer gets three years in prison

By Kerri Sandaine Lewiston Tribune

ASOTIN — The 27-year-old man who killed a female pig and two piglets at the Clarkston FFA barn was sentenced this week in Asotin County Superior Court to three years in prison.

Lyden M. Blackburn, who was arrested July 1, pleaded guilty to malicious killing of livestock, second-degree animal cruelty, first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree theft of livestock.

The standard sentencing range on the Class A felony of first-degree burglary was between 31 and 41 months in prison, not including enhancements. Standard ranges are based on the crimes charged and criminal history.

Blackburn, who entered into a plea agreement with the state, was accused of stealing a roommate’s rifle, walking to the high school’s barn along 16th Avenue and slaughtering three pigs in the early morning hours of May 16. He was sentenced Monday by Judge Brooke Burns.

In addition, Blackburn was ordered to pay $16,380 in restitution to the Clarkston FFA program. The female pig, known as a gilt, would have been used for eight breedings with an average of eight piglets per litter, according to court documents. The gilt was valued at $180, and the future piglets had an estimated value of $250 each. The two slain piglets were valued at $200 each.

According to court documents, Blackburn told police he didn’t remember the incident because he was intoxicated. When asked if had slaughtered animals in the past, Blackburn said he had, but didn’t remember why he did it. Blackburn also reportedly told acquaintances he cooked the piglets on a grill.

At the time of the incident, an unknown man was caught on security cameras at the Clarkston High School FFA barn, shirtless and armed with a gun with two dead piglets slung over his shoulder. The sow was also found shot dead at the scene.

Videos of the killings were circulated on social media and prompted an outcry from the community, and a $500 reward for information from Helping Hands Rescue.

Public defender John Perry represented Blackburn, and Prosecutor Curt Liedkie handled the case on behalf of the state.