18-year-old accused of beating duck to death with baseball bat

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William Luke McDowell

LEXINGTON, N.C. — An 18-year-old is being charged with animal cruelty after deputies say he beat a domesticated duck to death with a baseball bat.

William Luke McDowell, 18, of Lexington, was charged after officers discovered that he beat the duck while at a friend’s house last Saturday.

The incident was caught on video by McDowell’s 16-year-old friend. He was not identified.

McDowell was placed in the Davidson County Jail under a $1,000 bond. His court date is set for May 19.


  • RaceInMyBritches

    $1,000 bond for killing a duck….animals are worth more than a little $1,000 bond judges! Have respect for life whether its human or animal or whatever…no living thing deserves to be beaten to a pulp until death. Lock this kid up for a good 6 months and whip him into shape at some base camp where he is forced to listen and abide by rules because his parents obviously dont have any for him. The kid looks like he needs a good whipping from his smarta$$ pic as well.

  • Thomas Christopher

    Hopefully, he will be charged with a felony under Susie’s Law quidelines that will stay on his record for the rest of his life. So sad that this trash decided to ruin his life over a stupid, cruel choice. But this is just another reason why I have more love and faith in animals than I do in any elements of “humanity”.

    • targetsacquired

      It said domesticated duck. I know it wont matter to you, but there is a season for migratory birds, and domesticated ducks are not. However, a duck is a duck, and he should also be charged as anyone would be for taking one out of season….federal charges. There is an entire list of other charges he should be charged with since hes over 16, the age fora duck stamp, or migratory bird stamp.
      Guys got issues for sure….but for the bitching about a bat over a shotgun, even if this guy gets hit with a felony, prohibiting him from owning a weapon, Im sure he will make news again in a few years for having a weapon when hes prohibited from such.

      • Thomas Christopher

        Actually, scientific evidence does support this claim. Studies have shown that those who commit such harmful acts on animals as youths will move on to more heinous crimes later in life if left untreated. But even if that were not the case, it does not excuse the FACT that this suspect may have committed a felonious act of cruelty against a defenseless animal. If anyone defends such a criminal act against an animal, then perhaps the same treatment should be performed upon the human as well…what’s fair is fair!

      • lolly

        Actually Lee, if you do your research on serial killers you will find that a large number of them have animal torture and killing in common. When I saw this headline I thought the same thing, serial killer in the making. You should know YOUR facts before saying it’s another “fact-less comment.”

      • justin

        Lol wow lee. Your comment is like an uncalled for outburst. In fact there’s more facts backing their points up then yours. Also if your going to say “fact-less” comment that then leaves the burden of proof on to you meaning if your going to call someone out for made up facts, then state the facts that say that. Otherwise keep your 12 year old irrational comments to yourself. I know its hard but it gets easier.

  • andrea

    What kind of mind set do u have if you can brutally kill an animal.hunting is one thing but beating it to death and watching it suffer is cruel.he should have to to time in an animal shelter for the cruelty. Maybe it would give him a different view for animals.they do feel pain.what he did was wrong!!

    • chucky1992

      Ruth, you certainly have a right to your opinion but his “point” is not ridiculous in everyone’s eyes. Some people believe abortion should be illegal.

  • a man

    i once bought a pair of geese to put on my pond at my farm and they quickly became a nuissance. they attacked my other animals as well as us and my kids. after trying to pen them up, and finding them a home for a while, i put them down. i didnt do it with a bat although i did carry a stick for a while anytime they were near. big difference between geese and ducks i know, but is it possible there was a reason for what he did? i mean if it were just meanness then throw the book at him by all means, but do we really have all the facts for sure here. i dont feel im a bad person for what i did. i just protected my family as well as my other animals, and in the end was out the $75 they cost me to start with. not saying thats the case here and never heard of ducks attacking but i guess stranger things have happened.

  • Sam

    Guys, he’s just a teenage kid making a rash, whimsical decision. Let him face his punishment and cease the ignorant name calling. There’s no “future killer” here. Keep in mind the definition of the word “accused.”

    • Chrissy

      “Just a teenage kid making a rash, whimsical decision” … seriously?? Sam, this is the mindset of the people who raise these kind of monsters. Just let their kids run wild and do whatever … let them have their way so you don’t have to hear their whining and complaining. This dude has more issues than Vogue, to be beating defenseless animals to death with a bat. The same thing needs to be done to him. Hang his defiant butt up where he can’t fight back (just like the duck) and beat him to death. There is no rehabilitation for sick punks like this. Or a bullet between the eyes. One or the other would be saving his future victims, both animal and human. I guarantee this isn’t the 1st animal he has tortured and killed, and it won’t be the last. When he gets bored with that, he’ll move on to humans. He gave that duck a death sentence, and he deserves the SAME!!!!!

      • Christian

        Just to clarify since he killed a duck that had attacked three people and after the owner of the duck told him to kill it so it would stop hurting his four year old daughter he deserves to get the death penalty? Yeah that makes a great deal of sense.

      • Elli

        Actually Christian…
        Obviously the owner doesn’t know enough to keep the duck.
        In this article and many others about this story,they have all clarified that it was a NESTING duck.
        Meaning it’s preparing for eggs or babies. Female animals and in this case DUCKS get very protective and aggressive (Like ANY other animals) to protect the nest/eggs/babies.
        The owner and you obviously didn’t know this.
        Perhaps if they were less ignorant the people wouldn’t have the duck,wouldn’t be injured and we wouldn’t have a dead duck and a court case. So no, this isn’t excused, this is at fault by the owner and this young man.
        IGNORANCE doesn’t excuse ABUSE!

        SOURCE: I own a duck,and have for many years.

  • Vasu Murti

    Abortion and war are the karma for killing animals. Pro-lifers and peace activists who eat meat are sabotaging / thwarting their own respective causes!

    In a 1979 essay entitled “Abortion and the Language of the Unconscious,” contemporary Hindu spiritual master Ravindra-svarupa dasa (Dr. William Deadwyler) wrote:

    “A (spiritually) conscious person will not kill even animals (much less very young humans) for his pleasure or convenience. Certainly the unconsciousness and brutality that allows us to erect factories of death for animals lay the groundwork for our treating humans in the same way.”

    Vegan author John Robbins writes in his Pulitzer Prize nominated Diet for a New America (1987):

    “The way we treat animals is indicative of the way we treat our fellow humans. One Soviet study, published in Ogonyok, found that over 87% of a group of violent criminals has, as children, burned, hanged, or stabbed domestic animals. In our own country, a major study by Dr. Stephen Kellert of Yale University found that children who abuse animals have a much higher likelihood of becoming violent criminals.”

    A 1997 study by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) reported that children convicted of animal abuse are five times more likely to commit violence against other humans than are their peers, and four times more likely to be involved in acts against property.

    Russell Weston Jr., tortured and killed twelve cats: burned and cut off their tails, paws, ears; poured toxic chemicals in their eyes to blind them; forced them to ingest poison, hung them from trees (the noose loose enough to create a slow and painful death.) Later killed two officers at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

    Jeffery Dahmer staked cats to trees and decapitated dogs. Later he dissected boys, and kept their body parts in the refrigerator. Murdered seventeen men.

    Kip Kinkle shot 25 classmates and killed several in Springfield, Oregon. He killed his father and mother. Said he blew up a cow once. Set a live cat on fire and dragged the innocent creature through the main street of town. Classmates rated him as “Most Likely to Start World War Three.”

    As a boy, Albert De Salvo, the “Boston Strangler,” placed a dog and cat in a crate with a partition between them. After starving the animals for days, he removed the partition to watch them kill each other. He raped and killed thirteen women by strangulation. He often posed bodies in a shocking manner after their murders.

    Richard Allen Davis set numerous cats on fire. He killed all of Polly Klaas’ animals before abducting and murdering Polly Klaas, aged twelve, from her bedroom.

    After 16-year-old Luke Woodham mortally stabbed his mother, killed two classmates and shot seven others, he confessed to bludgeoning his dog Sparkle with baseball bats and pouring liquid fuel down her throat and to set fire to her neck. “I made my first kill today,” he wrote in his court-subpoenaed journal. “It was a loved one…I’ll never forget the howl she made. It sounded almost human.”

    In June 1998, Woodham was found guilty of three murders and seven counts of aggravated assault. He was sentenced to three life sentences and an additional 20 years for each assault.

    Theodore Robert Bundy, executed in 1989 for at least fifty murders, was forced to witness a grandfather who tortured animals. Bundy later heaped graves with animal bones.

    David Berkowitz, “Son of Sam,” poisoned his mother’s parakeet out of jealousy. He later shot thirteen young men and women. Six people died and at least two suffered permanent disabilities.

    Keith Hunter Jesperson, “Happy Face Killer,” bashed gopher heads and beat, strangled and shot stray cats and dogs. He is known to have strangled eight women.

    He said: “You’re actually squeezing the life out of these animals…Choking a human being or a cat–it’s the same feeling…I’m the very end result of what happens when somebody kills an animal at an early age.”

    Carroll Edward Cole, executed in 1985 for an alleged 35 murders and reputed to be one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history, confessed that his first act of violence was to strangle a puppy under the porch of his house.

    Robert Alton Harris murdered two 16-year-old boys, doused a neighbor with lighter fluid and tossed matches at him. His initial run-in with police was for killing neighborhood cats.

    Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, which launched the modern day environmental movement, wrote:

    “Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is whether its victim is human or animal we cannot expect things to be much better in this world. We cannot have peace among men whose hearts delight in killing any living creature. By every act that glorifies or even tolerates such moronic delight in killing we set back the progress of humanity.”

    In a December 1990 letter to Eric Mills of Action For Animals, vegan labor leader Cesar Chavez similarly observed:

    “Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society. Conversely, cruelty, whether it is directed against human beings or against animals, is not the exclusive province of any one culture or community of people. Racism, economic deprival, dog fighting and cockfighting, bullfighting and rodeos are cut from the same fabric: violence. Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves.”

    Mother Teresa, honored for her service to the poor with the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, wrote in 1992 to Marlene Ryan, a former member of the National Alliance for Animals. Her letter reads:

    “I am praying for you that God’s blessing may be with you in all that you are doing to create concern for the animals which are often subjected to much cruelty. They, too, are created by the same loving Hand of God which created us. As we humans are gifted with intelligence which the animals lack, it is our duty to protect them and to promote their well being.

    “We also owe it to them as they serve us with such wonderful docility and loyalty. A person who shows cruelty to these creatures cannot be kind to other humans also. Let us do all we can to become instruments of peace—where we are—the true peace that comes from loving and caring and respecting each person as a child of God—my brother—my sister.”

  • Dockie Mize

    i hope they dont let him back in north davidson.he will be shootin up the school.but not that he is smart enough to graduate anyway.beat him with a bat.i would like a shot

    • Christian

      He has a 3.25 GPA. He is the president of the biggest club at the school (brutal black). And he is going to graduate and attend college. Get your facts right before you open your mouth.

    • Think

      So it’s ok to beat a human with a bat as you are suggesting? And before learning all the facts, you suggest something as heinous as a school shooting? As an adult and a community member, you should have more respect for this young man’s parents than to make such comments. I think they deserve that from you.

  • Haley

    It wasn’t his little sister, it was his friend’s sister. I go to school with Luke, the first thing I heard him say after he beat the duck was “Since when did everyone at this school become a part of PETA.” I disagree with his actions, an I never would have expected this from him, but the name calling and threats are unnecessary.

  • ruth

    I know this kid – and can’t believe he is evil . No, I don’t understand, it makes me sick, but I don’t have all the facts. Maybe he needs help. Doesn’t it make sense to please, delay judgement until we know more. So very, very sad…

  • Anonymous

    Until you know the whole story, don’t make any judgements. His father is a preacher and he was taught manners. I grew up with him and continue to sit in a classroom every day until graduation on June 14th of this year. His actions at school have never led me to think of him as a killer or as a psychopath. Kids make bad decisions and let outside influences control their decisions. I’ve made my share of mistakes and had to face the consequences within the past year. He’s 18. you were 18 once too. And by the way Mr. I’m A Duck Owner: who the hell even owns ducks? Secondly, all ducks are different, just like people. Just because your duck is chill that does not mean that there aren’t ducks with fucked up minds just like some people are chill and then you have people who kill others because they have fucked up minds. Bottom line is, he’s the only person to face the consequences and hopefully he learns from his mistakes, but if he doesn’t there isn’t much of anything you can do!! Welcome to America, freedom doesn’t come free and that’s why he is in trouble for killing a duck. It was inhumane. But yes, people can shoot others and ge in trouble but if someone shoots an animal it’s okay. The animal is dead and Luke is in trouble. End of story. Find something better to do with your pitiful lifes instead of ragging on an 18 year old who you may or may not know.

    • Elli

      I’m actually his age. People who own farms or lakes (me) own ducks.
      Also I’m a Miss. Obviously you weren’t taught manners to make judgements so quickly.
      My point was that the reason the animal was aggressive was because it was nesting. The owner was at fault.
      And obviously there is one person who does own a duck…the ignorant one who asked someone to BEAT A MOTHER DUCK TO DEATH.
      So yes people do often own ducks.
      Animal abuse is animal abuse.
      And in church you’re taught to respect all living things and that as the dominant race to do that humbly. Like instant death,not torture.
      If we’re going to eat meat,why not make the death quick,painless?

    • Elli

      Also, did you see the duck? Was it aggressive when it was alone?
      Stop being so defensive because you personally know them.
      Doing one good deed doesn’t defend the thousands of mistakes you make.
      Chill duck? All animals have emotions like people,we get angry,hurt people in doing so but we’re forgiven. How was this creature supposed to say sorry? Lay a golden egg for easter? Pu-lease you know nothing about the situation, I think you’re not qualified for this serious topic.

  • deidre

    What makes someone want to so this to any living thing?! Animals are given life just as us humans are and their life should be respected the same. I hope this POS get some really good Karma bc a $1,000 bond it is a slap on the wrist and the dick head who video taped it should be sitting in jail too. The ingorant and unessecary cruelty in peoples hearts these days just astounds me. They probably taped it thinking it was funny which is even more sick. And he’ll get off with some bull punishment like community service. I cant stand some people in this world. And all the ignorant people who commented sarcastic comments on here thinking they were funny are jerks your just portraying that you think its not a big deal this man did this. Life is life!

  • Jack

    I went to school with this kid, and I can personally say after having classes with him that he was incredibly fucked up. He used to make fun of other students and make the most grotesque statements all of the time. There is nothing whimsical, lighthearted, or irrational about this. He beat a duck to death with a bat while consciously being recorded. “Let us not forget the definition of accused..” You can’t be “accused” if there is in concrete evidence proving that you are guilty. There are federal and state laws against this, if you want to view this as hunting, that regulate out of season killing, ESPECIALLY for malicious intent.

    • Christian

      You seem so big and bad saying all that from behind a computer screen like a little girl. If you are so butt hurt that Luke was more popular than you why don’t you say that to someone like me who cares about him.

  • GGGIrl

    Anyone who watches the ENTIRE video can clearly see he is laughing and enjoying the torture he inflicts slowly. The duck was facing away and tried to run and he repeatedly hits it while screaming with laughter. Is that the kind of person who inst happy about killing or someone who enjoys it so much they cant contain themselves?

    Ducks dont have teeth, they cant bite only nip. Ducks dont have claws or spurs, only toenails. No one has ever been maimed or killed my a duck. Ducks are 4 to 6 pounds of FEATHERS.

    Speaking of not knowing the whole story, maybe the child was being left unattended and was hurting the duck and it tried to defend itself. There are agencies like animal control to take in “dangerous” animals like this four pounds of fluffy down and feathers that was maiming and murdering children. Not to mention animals rescue in the area would have taken the duck for free.

    What would be the fun in that? They didnt do any of that because they wanted the fun in killing it and thats what they did, with forethough malice, and no regret or remorse. Thats what makes this story so terrible.

    My husband was raised on a farm and he had to kill some of the animals for food. He dreaded it and hated it. He did it quickly and never ever laughed and tortured the animals. Thats the diffference. The obvious enjoyment followed by the tweets bragging and again rejoycing in his killing and taunting people who disagreed.

    Screw PETA because they are extremists, the every day average person would see this and want to vomit. If it doesnt I have the number for a therapist I can send you because you need help.

    • Christian


      Ducks are harmless though… Right?!

      Also you do not know the kid and so you probably not pass judgement like you are so cowardly doing from behind a computer screen.

      Also the duck was buried after it was killed so if it was as malicious as you so radically think that it was would they really have buried it?

      You do not have all the facts and it is laughable to the normal person that you are so radical.

      Also animal control was called and they said it would be two to three weeks before they could come get the duck.

  • brave

    Christian your such a coward for sitting here passing judgements on everyone from behing your computer screen .

  • harry

    i hope he get a huge fine or jail time as well. best yet he needs to be beat with the same bat he did the little duck with.

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