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2 Take Plea Deal In Dead Animal, Cricket-Planting Case

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(credit: Emmet County Sheriff's Office)

(credit: Emmet County Sheriff’s Office)

PETOSKEY (WWJ/AP) – Two neighbors accused of scattering dead raccoons and dying squirrels throughout a foreclosed, bank-owned home in Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula have taken a plea deal in the case.

The Petoskey News-Review reports Dean Carpenter and Marilyn Laffoon on Wednesday pleaded guilty in a Petoskey courtroom to illegal entry and malicious destruction of property.

The pair had initially denied their involvement. But after they were told police had video evidence, they said they did it out of “boredom.”

Laffoon later told the court it was a “stupid thing to do.” Carpenter called it “a silly prank.”

Court records show the two told police the critters were left in the house in Harbor Springs, about 55 miles northeast of Traverse City, as a joke earlier this year. At one point, the house was found to be infested with crickets.

Carpenter told police he got the crickets from a family member who raises them, and said he routinely traps animals as part of his farming operations.

The house is located between Laffoon’s home and Bluff Gardens, a business run by Carpenter.

According to a listing on a real estate web site, the current asking price for the home is $375,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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