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The Nation

July 20, 1986

Three men convicted in a scheme to kidnap drifters for slave labor that left one man dead have been given sentences in Kerrville, Tex., ranging from four months to 15 years in prison. Walter Wesley Ellebracht Sr., 54, a rancher, was given the lesser term, while his son Walter Wesley Ellebracht Jr., 33, got 15 years in prison, and a former ranch foreman, Carlton Robert Caldwell, 21, received 14 years for conspiracy to commit aggravated kidnaping and murder. The charges stemmed from the abduction, cattle-prod torture and slaying of Anthony Bates, a drifter. The state claimed Bates, like other hitchhikers, was lured to the Ellebracht ranch with the promise of work and then was forced into slavery.

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