Bond set for arrested former Shelby Co. deputy

SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A former Shelby County deputy who was arrested Friday afternoon in Shelton, Connecticut has had his bond set. Mark McAvoy remained in jail as of Monday morning on cruelty to animal charges, a fourth degree felony, according to Connecticut authorities, McAvoy's wife Lisa, and Shelby County Sheriff Newton Johnson.

"His bond was lowered from $100,000 to $250,000 Monday morning", said a Connecticut prosecutor in the case. McAvoy waived his extradition to Texas, meaning he can be transported back to Shelby County.

McAvoy's Houston attorney told Connecticut authorities that attempts will be made to post bond. "This whole thing is ridiculous and I have already asked the Justice Department to conduct an investigation of the Shelby County Sheriff's Department," said B.Denyse Thierry, McAvoy's attorney.

Lisa McAvoy said if her husband can post bond he will return to Texas to handle the charges against him.

Meanwhile, Shelby County authorities can't be specific when McAvoy could be transported back. "I may use a transport company to get him back," said Johnson Monday morning. He also confirmed that Shelby County District Attorney Lynda K. Russell agreed to pay for the plane fare if McAvoy was ever arrested. Russell was not available for comment.

On Friday, Mark McAvoy had just come back from the hardware store with his cousin, only to be greeted by two Shelton police officers. McAvoy says his ex-boss has a warrant out for his arrest following the death of his horse, but "that it's in retaliation" to disagreements the two had.

Sheriff Johnson said someone will travel to Connecticut to pick up McAvoy on the misdemeanor charge. Johnson did not say when the lengthy trip will be made.

Johnson confirmed a warrant on a charge of animal abuse is out on Mark McAvoy, who worked for the sheriff's office from November 2010 to March 2011.

Johnson declined to go into details on the charges, but said McAvoy is accused of moving to New Hampshire after he was terminated from the office, and leaving his horse behind with no care.

McAvoy said in a telephone interview that one of his horses died when the neighbors dogs got into the stable and killed his mare. Newton suspects the animal was neglected.

McAvoy said he tried to sell the horses before he moved but was unsuccessful. He eventually agreed to give them away to someone who looked into moving into his house after he moved. The man decided not to take the house, but to take the horses.

"I heard a commotion two nights before I moved when I was sleeping and figured the dogs were in there but figured the stud would kick the crap out of them," McAvoy said. "The next morning, the mare was killed and I cried. I love my horses."

McAvoy said the man took the stud. McAvoy said he made arrangements with a neighbor to bury the mare before he moved.

"Newton Johnson came on the property and saw the dead horse and put the charge on me," he said.

McAvoy said he cannot find a lawyer in Shelby County to assist him and now cannot find a law enforcement job in New Hampshire, because his records now show he has an outstanding warrant.

His landlady said McAvoy's attempts at financing to purchase the house fell through over hot checks, before $12,000 worth of vandalism happened at the house.

Shelby County authorities had considered issuing an arrest warrant on McAvoy for the vandalism, but later chose not to. "We're not pursuing that at this time," said Johnson Monday morning.

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