VISTA, Calif. -
A man who tried to steal two goats from Fallbrook High School's agricultural department -- resulting in one goat's death -- pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of grand theft of an animal.
Bryce Zubicki, 23, will be sentenced Oct. 17 and is expected to be placed on probation, said prosecutor Elisabeth Silva.
Zubicki was arrested in July and linked to the June 15, 2011, crime by DNA evidence found at the scene, authorities said.
According to authorities, Zubicki duct-taped the muzzles and legs of two goats at the school on the morning of June 15 -- the last day of school.
At the time, authorities said the death may have been a senior prank gone wrong, but investigators later said Zubicki may have planned to add the goats to his collection of farm animals.
About 5 a.m. that day, a security guard saw a hooded figure in a livestock pen with the two Tennessee fainting goats inside and scared off the would-be thief by shining a flashlight on him, authorities said.
The guard then removed the tape from the goats' muzzles but it was too late for one of the animals and it died. A necropsy -- the equivalent of an autopsy -- revealed that the goal died from suffocation, authorities said.