Jackie McConnell’s attorney, in an attempt to avoid trial on animal cruelty charges relating to horse soring as a result of an undercover HSUS investigation, is working on a plea deal for his client to escape jail time.
CINDY WOLFF, writing for The Memphis Appeal reports:
The animal cruelty case against Collierville horse trainer Jackie McConnell was rescheduled Tuesday morning in Fayette County General Sessions Court until Nov. 13.
McConnell pleaded guilty last week to federal felony charges of violating the Horse Protection Action. He was given three years probation and a $75,000 fine. David Douglas, McConnell’s attorney for the state charges, said he is close to a plea deal so that McConnell won’t serve any time.
“He has no criminal history,” said Douglas, who practices in Somerville. “Given that and his age, we hope to make a make a strong case for diversion. Mr. McConnell doesn’t want this to go to trial.”
The state charges are for the same incidents of cruelty and abuse of Tennessee Walking horses that took place in McConnell’s barn in Fayette County near the border of Shelby County. An undercover video showed McConnell and his staff beating Tennessee Walking horses, using cattle prods and harsh chemicals in a training regime. The purpose of the treatment is to get the horse to raise its legs in an exaggerated high step known as the “big lick.”
— Tennessee Walking Horse abuser McConnell gets probation and a fine; Tuesday’s Horse; Sept. 18, 2012