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4 Missouri residents face felony charges for alleged abuse of horses

Four adults are facing felony charges stemming from alleged abuse against five quarter horses. The group of people who face the felony charges reportedly trespassed on a property where the four horses were kept while the owner was away. Upon her return, she apparently noticed gashes spread out across the horses' bodies. That was evidently when the Missouri woman decided to camp out on her property with the goal of discovering exactly what was happening to her animals.

Court documents indicate that the woman called for police assistance that evening to report trespassers had entered onto her property. When the deputy responded to that call for assistance, several of the people apparently fled except for one man who remained. He reportedly claimed that the group had been hired to train the horses at night, but the owner reportedly disputed that claim.

The man who stayed to speak with the deputy allegedly had a black machete in his possession. He apparently claimed that he brought the machete to protect himself against a mountain lion that he claimed was responsible for injuring the horses. Reportedly, all of the horses are expected to recover fully.

The four Missouri residents facing the felony charges in this case will have to prepare to defend themselves against the allegations. They have been charged with first-degree burglary, which could lead to up to 15 years in prison if they are convicted.

In the meantime, however, all four are considered innocent until and only if proven guilty by competent and relevant evidence presented in court. It is one thing to be accused of a crime and quite another to actually be convicted of it. Each accused individual will have the opportunity to challenge testimony and evidence offered in support of the allegations.

Source: Springfield News-leader, "Four charged after horses slashed in Taney County barn," Jess Rollins, Aug. 21, 2012

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