GROSSE ILE, Mich. (WWJ/AP) — Two members of the Grosse Ile High School lacrosse team face trial on killing or torturing animals and conspiracy charges in the slaying of a guinea pig prior to one of their games.

The Wayne County prosecutor’s office says 18-year-old Tanner Coolsaet and 17-year-old Michael Roth were bound over Monday and are scheduled for Aug. 29 arraignments in circuit court.

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Each were charged with two counts in July: animals – killing/torturing and conspiracy to commit killing/torturing of animals in the April 30 incident.

All of the charges are felonies carrying a maximum four year penalty.

According to Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy, the two teens showed up to a team meeting at around 11:30 a.m. with a guinea pig in a box. Coolsaet had a knife and slit the guinea pig’s throat, Worthy says. Roth then allegedly grabbed the animal and struck it with a small bat. The animal died a short time later.

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A third member of the team also is charged in the case. The prosecutor’s office has said the boy was 16 when he is alleged to have stabbed the animal with a knife.

“The alleged facts in this case illustrate much more than a youthful prank or a pre-game antic. We must take these cases seriously,” Worthy said in a statement.

The incident prompted the school to suspend the remainder of its lacrosse season while authorities were investigating. There were reports that team members also drank the guinea pig’s blood and that they painted their faces with it.

 

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