CADIZ - A request for legal counsel has brought proceedings to a screeching halt in a much publicized animal neglect/abuse case.
Chester Thompson, of 81800 Barricklow Road, Cadiz, was in court last week but after requesting to seek an attorney, Judge Mark Beetham granted the defendant time to obtain counsel.
The 82-year-old Thompson has a long history of animal cruelty charges stemming back to a case in 2003 where nearly 40 malnourished and ill horses were found to be in his care. On numerous occasions, the man has been ordered to refrain from owning horses but continues to have them on his property. He has also be found guilty on charges of drunk driving and driving under suspension.
The latest incident involved several animals that were found foraging for food at his home. Authorities were forced to euthanize one of the horses due to injuries it apparently endured while being transported by Thompson to his property which is littered with junk vehicles and other scrap metal.
Allegedly, he purchases the equines from area auction barns and transports them on makeshift trailers.
At one point, a horse he was hauling on a crude trailer lost its footing, partially had one leg lodged along side of the trailer and suffered severe road burns. The animal, along with one other, was taken from Thompson by authorities in Tuscarawas County where the incident occurred. He was found guilty of animal cruelty.
In a more recent case, Thompson pleaded to one count of second-degree misdemeanor animal cruelty and was placed on 12 months' probation. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail with 83 suspended. He was also ordered to pay a fine and was once again ordered to never own or possess horses.
In the current case, officials from the county's Humane Society took 10 horses from Thompson property on July 10 in addition to the horse that was put down.
Thompson, who is also facing probation violation, will be back in court on Monday at 2:45 p.m. He is being held on a $75,000 bond.
Sedgmer may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org