Because of a misunderstanding, Charles and Patricia Keune failed to show up in county court last week to be advised of additional charges of animal cruelty. On April 4, Judge Sandra Miller issued a bench warrant for both the Keunes in the amount of $1,500 each.
After they were contacted that night by the Delta County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Fred McKee said they promptly turned themselves in, paid their bond and were released. The advisement of charges has been reset for April 11.
The Keunes were originally charged with one count of animal cruelty after a horse died on their Redlands Mesa farm. In pleading guilty to that charge, they agreed to relinquish the remainder of their horses and cows, which had already been seized by the sheriff's office. In exchange for a two-year deferred judgment, the Keunes are not to own or possess livestock for two years and to attend anger management classes.
Sheriff McKee said the district attorney's office may attempt to "bundle" all the charges into one, a strategy he does not agree with. He believes there are two totally separate situations of animal cruelty, because even after the horse died the rest of the livestock on the property was not properly fed or watered.
"The DA's office needs to consider the circumstances of the rest of the livestock," he said.blog comments powered by Disqus