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Lacey's Spring couple plead guilty, ordered to get rid of 10 horses

By Sheryl Marsh 340-2437

A Lacey's Spring couple must sell or give away 10 of 12 horses and pay restitution after entering a "best interest" plea of guilty to animal cruelty.

Robert Allen Wilkerson and Eugenia Wilkerson each pleaded guilty to the charges Thursday before Morgan County District Court Judge David Breland.

The district attorney's office prosecuted the Wilkersons on complaints of animal control officers.

During an arraignment hearing Aug. 23 the couple pleaded innocent.

Neighbors Holly Miller and Linda Featherly complained about the treatment of the horses, saying they were starving on the Wilkersons' property, where there was no grass.

Robert Allen Wilkerson said he and his wife were not neglecting and abusing their horses.

The Wilkersons entered a plea agreement with the district attorney's office to settle the case Thursday.

Breland suspended a 30-day jail sentence and placed each defendant on probation for two years. He ordered each to pay $195 in restitution and get rid of most of the horses.

Breland issued an order Friday, which reads:

"All parties acknowledge that the defendant is capable of properly caring for two horses on the subject property, but not 12 horses as was the case at the time of the filing of the charge."

In addition, the judge ordered animal control officers to monitor the disposition of each horse as soon as possible.

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