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Jury upholds forfeiture of 30 malnourished horses


A six-person jury determined Wednesday that Barney Brehmer, a Hurnville area stock producer, deprived livestock of feed, upholding an order of forfeiture by the Clay County Justice of the Peace.

The 30 horses forfeited to Clay County following a decision made by Justice of the Peace John Swenson on  Feb. 26 will remain in the care of the sheriff’s office until the animals are auctioned. Rick Bunch, attorney for Brehmer, has asked the state’s second court of appeals to review the time frame in which the civil case was handled. The animals will be auctioned after a decision is handed down.

Law requires that a forfeiture hearing take place no more than 10 days after an animal is seized. In court documents, Bunch contends that the county mishandled the case by not holding a forfeiture hearing until 12 days after the seizure.

According to testimony, Sheriff Kenny Lemons asked Veterinarian Polly McDonald to look at the horses on Feb. 17, and she took a quick assessment of the animals on Feb. 18. McDonald made a thorough evaluation of some of the horses on Feb. 22.

Proceeds from the auction will be used to pay for care of the horses. As of Monday, Clay County had been billed $9,050 for care and boarding and $1,291 for veterinary services. Any excess proceeds will go to Brehmer.

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The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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