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Alleged Goat Killer Due To Appear

Bryce Zubicki allegedly duct-taped the muzzles and legs of two goats at Fallbrook High School.

A Temecula man accused of killing a goat while trying to steal the animal and another goat from Fallbrook High School's agricultural department is due in court this month.

Bryce Zubicki, 23, is scheduled for a readiness hearing Sept. 18 in Vista after being arrested in July on suspicion of animal cruelty in connection with the incident at the North County school in June 2011. He is also scheduled to appear again on Oct. 2 for a preliminary hearing.

Authorities said DNA evidence from the crime scene was matched to a sample of Zubicki's DNA entered into a criminal database. However, authorities did not elaborate on the defendant's criminal past, except to say he had a prior felony conviction.

Zubicki allegedly duct-taped the muzzles and legs of the two goats at the school the morning of June 15, 2011, which was the last day of the 2010-11 school year.

At the time, authorities said the incident may have been a senior prank gone wrong. Investigators have since said Zubicki may have planned to add the goats to his personal collection of farm animals.

Around 5 a.m. June 15, 2011, a school security guard saw a hooded figure in a livestock pen with the two Tennessee fainting goats inside and scared off the would-be thief by shining a flashlight on him, authorities said.

The guard then removed the tape from the goats' muzzles but it was too late for one of the animals and it died. A necropsy -- the equivalent of an autopsy -- revealed that the goal died from suffocation, authorities said. --Toni McAllister contributed to this report.

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