A Norfolk County grand jury on Thursday indicted a Randolph man for allegedly beating two Canada geese over the summer in a brutal attack that resulted in the birds being euthanized, according to prosecutors and legal filings.
The defendant, Ernest Allen, 55, was indicted on two counts of animal cruelty stemming from the alleged attack, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey’s office said.
Allen’s lawyer declined to comment.
Allen was previously arraigned Aug. 2 on the same two counts in Quincy District Court, where a not guilty plea was entered for him. He was released on personal recognizance, records show. The indictment moves the case the Norfolk Superior Court.
“We would expect to schedule a superior court arraignment in the coming weeks,” Morrissey said in the statement.
According to prosecutors, a neighbor of Allen’s witnessed the alleged bludgeoning and called police.
“The geese were transported to the New England Wildlife Center in South Weymouth,” Morrissey said. “Despite their efforts, the geese could not be saved.”
Authorities said the maximum penalty for animal cruelty upon conviction is seven years in state prison. A motive for the alleged attack wasn’t disclosed.
Canada geese are large, tipping the scales at 10 to 14 pounds on average, according to the state’s official Mass.gov website.
“Canada geese have passed through Massachusetts on their journeys to and from their arctic breeding grounds for centuries,” the site says. “Prior to the 1930s, it was unusual for geese to nest here, yet today in Massachusetts you can find Canada geese any time of the year. In fact, in some areas, people feel there are too many geese.”