Welcome to Habitat For Horses!|Monday, March 30, 2015

Convicted Mustang Abuser Jailed for Parole Violation 

The Horse, Pat Raia, April 8, 2013

Authorities counted 76 dead horses, but there were a LOT more scattered over Meduna's property

Authorities counted 76 dead horses, but there were a LOT more scattered over Meduna’s property

Jason Meduna, the Nebraska rancher convicted of maltreating more than 200 mustangs adopted from the Bureau of Land Management, has been jailed in Wyoming for violating terms of his parole.

In April 2009, law enforcement authorities and personnel from equine welfare agencies removed 209 malnourished mustangs from Meduna’s 3-Strikes Ranch in Alliance, Neb. Those animals were placed with Habitat for Horses, a Texas-based equine rescue, and the Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, in California, for rehabilitative care, and all were later place in new adoptive homes. Meduna was subsequently charged with 149 counts of class 4 felony animal abandonment and cruel animal neglect resulting in injury or death. In January 2010, Meduna was found guilty of 145 of the charges, and was sentenced to serve not less than 40 months and not more than 120 months in prison. He was also prohibited from owning animals for 30 years.

Meduna began serving his sentence in February 2010 and became eligible for parole on Oct. 20, 2011. On Oct. 26, the Nebraska Parole Board granted Meduna’s parole. During his parole hearing, members of the board also granted Meduna’s request to serve his parole in Wyoming. There, Meduna was required to report to a parole officer and remained subject to the terms of his Nebraska parole conditions, including the prohibition on animal ownership as well as any conditions required by the state of Wyoming. Capt. Bryan Morehouse, of the Goshen County, Wyo., Sheriff’s Department, said that since his parole Meduna has been residing in Lingel, Wyo., under his own name and under the alias “Jesse Raiter.”

A few, such as Voodoo, were adopted by Willie Nelson.

A few, such as Voodoo, were adopted by Willie Nelson.

Morehouse said that in March, Meduna’s parole officer discovered some horses and dogs residing on his property. The parole officer subsequently sought and won an arrest and hold warrant. On April 3, Meduna was arrested and booked into the Goshen County jail for allegedly violating terms of his parole. No animal cruelty charges were connected to the arrest, Morehouse said.

Meduna was unavailable for comment.

Morehouse said that a judge will hear the parole violation case. Changes in terms of Meduna’s parole, if any, will be determined by both states connected to the case.

“At that point, there is a conversation between the state of Wyoming and the state of Nebraska,” Morehouse said.

The hearing on the case remains pending.

Meanwhile, Meduna remains incarcerated in the Goshen County Jail, Morehouse said.

(Personal Note: While I was deeply involved in this seizure, realize that many more stepped up to help. This project could not have been done without the assistance of HSUS and Front Range Equine Rescue, plus literally hundreds of volunteers who donated hay, feed and their time to making sure the horses were safe. While it lay witness to the worst of human behavior in the acts of a few, it ended in showing the best of human behavior by the acts of many. Sadly, there are still those today who defend Meduna with their insane tales of poison, radiation, aliens, or whatever excuse they might find. The courts found him guilty and because of his parole violation, he’s back in jail again. For someone like him, there is no better place. – Jerry)

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