Judge sentences William Kiefer to six months in horse abuse cases
Normally we do not post articles on individual horse abuse cases. However the slap on the wrist for a man who abused over 150 horses which resulted in the deaths of over a 100 horses needs to be publicized. With a 6 month actual sentence, either jail time or electronic monitoring at home, shows that something is very wrong in this country. Also the fine he paid to off set the cost of rehabilitating the surviving horses certainly does not come close to the actual cost. Justice was not served. ~ HfH
From: Bismarck Tribune
By: Jenny Michael
South Central District Judge Tom Schneider sentenced William Kiefer to six months in jail or on electronic monitoring for the starvation deaths of more than 100 horses in Burleigh and Morton counties.
Kiefer, 63, pleaded guilty on Aug. 2 to nine counts of Class A misdemeanor overworking, mistreating or abandoning animals — four in Burleigh County and five in Morton County.
Schneider on Tuesday sentenced Kiefer to one year in prison on each count, with six months suspended. The nine sentences will be served at the same time and will be followed by two years of supervised probation, during which Kiefer will not be allowed to own or possess livestock. Kiefer will be allowed to serve the sentence in jail or on electronic monitoring, if such a program accepts him.
The sentence, which will start Jan. 9, was two months longer than what attorneys in the case had reached as a plea agreement. The judge said the longer sentence was warranted, given the number of animals that died, despite Kiefer’s lack of prior criminal history.
“He could easily have reached out for help,” Schneider said.
In late January, officials in Morton and Burleigh counties seized more than 150 horses and mules from properties owned by Kiefer after finding 96 dead animals on property northwest of New Salem and three dead on pasture east of Bismarck. Several other animals later died. Kiefer is accused in both the Burleigh County and Morton County cases of failing to provide necessary food, water and shelter to his animals.
According to a complaint in the Morton County case, one count of overworking, mistreating or abandoning animals is in response to a group of horses and mules found dead on a hilltop in the pasture northwest of New Salem, another count is for animals found dead in a barn and a third count is for dead animals in a Quonset and nearby trailer. A fourth count is for animals found dead in a hay yard, while the fifth count is for all the surviving animals.
Habitat for Horses is always on the lookout for a few great people at our ranches. The work is unique, the animals are special and we want folks who both know and understand the special connection our animals need.