Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17741
Classification: Hoarding
Animal: reptile
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Wednesday, Apr 20, 2011

County: Wood

Disposition: Alleged

» David Beauchemin
» Tawni Beauchemin-Eddy

Case Updates: 3 update(s) available

The Wood County Sheriff's Office along with the Game Warden, and members of the Caldwell Zoo reptile department are working to safely seize 75-100 large snakes from a property outside of Quitman.

David Beauchemin, 45, was arrested Wednesday afternoon, after authorities discovered an outstanding bench warrant from Allen Parish, LA for failure to appear on 23 counts of Animal Cruelty.

Officials say that many of the snakes seized are on the exotic list and require a certain permit if someone wants to own them as a pet.

There are reports out of Louisiana that Beauchemin advertised as a pet adopter on CraigsList and would then feed those pets to his snakes. As of now, those reports are limited to just Louisiana.

Deputies found him and a large amount of cash inside a motor home on the property. They later came across a cargo trailer full of more snakes.

Charges against Beauchemin are pending.

He will be extradited back to Louisiana.

According to officials on the scene, Boa Constrictors, Pythons, and Anacondas are among the many snakes currently being seized from the property.

The Humane Society of North Texas is en route.

Case Updates

A Wood County man who was arrested last month on outstanding warrants, and in possession of 79 exotic snakes, has been fined for having them without the proper permit.

Damon James Heymen has been fined $500 and is being held in the Wood County Jail. He will be extradited to Louisiana to face 22 counts of animal cruelty.

Custody of the snakes found last month has been handed over to the Humane Society of North Texas. Heymen has been ordered to pay $4,000 for the care of the snakes.
Source: - May 26, 2011
Update posted on May 26, 2011 - 11:38PM 
David Beauchemin, formerly of Oakdale, is in jail in Texas awaiting extradition to Louisiana.

Beauchemin and his wife, Tawni, were arrested March 19, 2010 in Oakdale on charges of obstruction of justice, theft by fraud, and 22 counts of animal cruelty.

David Beauchemin was out on bond when he was arrested again for making harrassing phone calls to a witness in the case.

The Beauchemins failed to appear in court in September, and were on the lam until David was arrested by the Wood County Sheriff's Office last week.

He had been living in the area under the alias of James Johnston.

Lt. Jerry Blaylock with the Wood County Sheriff's Department in Quitman, Texas said Beauchemin's real name is Damon James Heyman or Haymen.

Blaylock said both names were used by the defendant, and fingerprint records from California state he served six years in prison for manslaughter in 1992.

At the time of Heyman's arrest in Texas he was using the name James Johnston.

Blaylock said a Georgia driver's license was found at the scene with the name James Patrick Johnston, who is listed as a missing person.

Neither Johnston nor Tawni Beauchemin, the wife of Beauchemin/Heyman, have been located.
Her purse and identification were at the scene.

Heyman is in jail awaiting a governor's warrant for extradition to Louisiana, which can take 30-60 days.

He is facing 79 counts of animal cruelty in Texas, and charges in Arizona are pending.
Source: - Apr 28, 2011
Update posted on Apr 28, 2011 - 1:32PM 
David Beauchemin, 45, of Oakdale, was arrested in Quitman, Texas on April 19.

Beauchemin and his wife, Tawni, are wanted on outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court in Allen Parish in 2010.

Deputies removed 79 boa constrictors, pythons, and anacondas from his Quitman property, and turned them over to the Humane Society of North Texas.

The snakes were housed in a cargo trailer, and had not been cared for.

Beauchemin is being held without bond pending extradition to Louisiana, and Texas charges.

Beauchemin is also wanted in Arizona on similar charges.

Beauchemin and his wife, Tawni, 24, were arrested March 19, 2010 in Oakdale on charges of obstruction of justice, theft by fraud, and 22 counts of animal cruelty.

Deputies raided their 13 acre property, and stated at the time it appeared small animals, including dogs and cats, were being fed to the snakes.

A volunteer for the Humane Society of West Louisiana in DeRidder brought a dog she had listed on Craigslist to the Beauchemins.

Tawni Beauchemin had told the woman the dog was a present for her husband.

When the volunteer checked Craigslist again she found her dog for sale. She filed a report with the state Attorney General's office and the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office.

The property was raided and the volunteer was called to pick up her dog, who had been kept in a small cage with no food or water.

The Humane Society of West Louisiana was contacted, and deputies delivered 16 dogs and five cats. One additional dog had died on the way to the adoption center.

Several of the animals died due to neglect, and some were so ill they were euthanized.

HSWL volunteers were able to save some of the animals, who were adopted.

The Beauchemins ran High End Herps, an exotic snake farm, and sold snakes on the internet.

They also ran Happy Hounds Rescue which was advertised as a safe haven for unwanted pets.

Deputies had reports from neighbors that they suspected the Beauchemins were feeding stray pets to the snakes.

The Beauchemins were cited for having 22 snakes that were over 12 feet long without permits.

Authorities estimated about 200 to 300 snakes and other animals were on the property.

The Louisiana Association of Reptile Keepers rescued 21 pythons.

David Beauchemin bonded out of jail on the charges, after his wife had been allowed to go home to care for the remaining animals.

David Beauchemin was arrested again in May 2010 for making harrassing phone calls to a witness in the case.

A July court date for arraignment was set, and again in September, when they failed to appear.

Bench warrants were issued, and the pair had disappeared until David Beauchemin was arrested last week.

Tawni Beauchemin fled the scene, leaving her handbag and ID.

David Beauchemin was arrested by the Wood County Sheriff's office. He had been living in the area under the alias of James Johnson.
Source: - Apr 24, 2011
Update posted on Apr 24, 2011 - 9:05AM 


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