Dispute over pigs leads to shooting, prison

One man is now serving a minimum 23-year prison sentence after an argument over free-ranging pigs in one Western North Carolina town.

An 11-member jury in Jackson County convicted Kenneth William McCall, 68, on Monday, rejecting defense attorney Frank Lay’s claim that McCall acted in self-defense during the shooting that took place in 2020, according to Jackson County District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch.

Welch explained that Kenneth McCall and William Walker McCall, 39, had gotten into a dispute about free-ranging pigs on a property in Tuckasegee in October 2020. The animals were reportedly digging up and damaging the family’s Pinhook Valley Campground on Charleys Creek Road, according to William McCall. A pig was then shot by William. Kenneth McCall shot into William’s vehicle, hitting him two times in the torso.

William was driven to McCall’s Grocery in Balsam Grove, where 911 was called. Afterward, he was transported by helicopter to Mission Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

In her press release, Welch called it “a miracle that William Walker McCall survived his wounds.”

Judge Bradley B. Letts sentenced Kenneth McCall to a minimum of 23 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years.

District Attorney Welch said the co-prosecutors were assistant district attorneys Andy Buckner and Jenica Hughes, and the primary investigator was Jackson County Detective Sgt. Brandon Elders.