Horse soring hearing delayed due to corrupted transcript

Cross-posted from The Daily Times
by IVA BUTLER

The handler for Horse Haven of Tennessee leads a confiscated horse from Larry Wheelon Stables during an April 25 raid on the stable. Photo by Tom Sherlin, the Daily Times.
PHOTO: TOM SHERLIN | THE DAILY TIMES
The handler for Horse Haven of Tennessee leads a confiscated horse from Larry Wheelon Stables during an April 25, 2013 raid on the stable.

The case of alleging soring of Tennessee walking horses against a trainer, two stable hands and a farrier has taken another bizarre turn — court officials say the preliminary hearing court transcript is “corrupted.”

Long-term area trainer Larry Joe Wheelon, 69, Miracle Drive, Maryville, and stable hands Randall Stacy Guner, 44, Randall Stacy Gunter, 44, Ratledge Street, Louisville, and Brandon Randall Lunsford, 32, Blair Loop Road, Walland, are charged with 13 felony and five misdemeanor charges of aggravated cruelty to livestock and five charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated cruelty to animals.

Farrier Blake Tanner Primm, 44, Glen Road, Louisville, also faces one felony charge of aggravated cruelty to livestock and a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated cruelty to animals.

All four men and their attorneys were in court Monday for a status hearing.

Blount County Assistant District Attorney General Kenlyn Foster asked for an extension of the case to allow the court recorder to try and find someone who could retrieve the corrupted transcript.

Foster said she asked for the transcript in October and only learned of the corrupted transcript Thursday. Wheelon defense attorney Rob White said he found out on Friday.

The damaged transcript is of the preliminary hearing in which Blount County Judge Robert L. Headrick threw out the case, saying the prosecution did not prove its case.

A veterinarian for the state did not get to testify since he mistakenly sat in on 30 minutes of testimony. He flew in from Mississippi and did not know that Headrick had sequestered those who were going to testify.

The district attorney then took the case to the grand jury, which returned indictments for a trial in Blount County Circuit Court.

In the pretrial proceedings, White filed a subpoena ordering Blount County District Attorney General Ellen Berez, the prosecutor in the preliminary trial, to testify.

Kyle Hixson of the state attorney general’s office has moved to quash the subpoena.

During the preliminary trial, White hired a private court recorder to make a transcript of the trial.

He refused to share that with the prosecution, saying he had the testimony but not the other things that happened in court. White said it is not the official court transcript.

“I believe it is going to be relevant what happened in general sessions court and outside the court,” said Blount County Circuit Court Judge Tammy Harrington.

She granted Foster’s motion to continue. The next hearing will be at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, May 22.

3 thoughts on “Horse soring hearing delayed due to corrupted transcript”

  1. i wanted to pass along the news that the bill in Canada that would have stopped all horses in Canada from being slaughtered that did not have the passport for drugs that the horse was given in its lifetime the same as the EU has did not pass. So that means that US horses will still be shipped to Canada for slaughter. In 2015 when a new party is in power they think it will pass. It looks like the politicians in Canada are crooks just like the ones here. I don’t think it would have really done much to help US horses because all of the US horses would have then been shipped to Mexico. I’m sure the racing industry will be happy that they can continue to over breed to their hearts content along with the Quarter horse breeders.

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  2. Honestly HOW can this circus continue,,, wasting tax dollars,,, for individuals who we all KNOW hurt those horses, tortured these innocent animals,, seems whenever anybody is prosecuted on animal abuse the circus begins,,, and keeps prolonging month after month, just like it did in N.M. against Chevez (sp) Livestock that kept being prolonged after a year and waited,,, so is this what is in store in this case TOO!?!?!? Angers me,,, really does…… But thank god he IS being held responsible,, cause so many are not….

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