Suspected horse abuser opts for jury trial - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Suspected horse abuser opts for jury trial

Reporter: Jared Austin
New Media Producer: Rachel Beavin

We have a 14 News follow up to the case against Richard Stallings.

He's the Gibson County man facing animal cruelty and neglect charges.

Friday, he turned down a plea deal and opted for a jury trial.

The folks who took in his sick horses say they're looking forward to it.

Since August of 2006, over 130 horses have been ceased from Richard Stallings for alleged abuse.

Anthony Caldwell from the Indiana Horse Rescue says the conditions on the farm were deplorable, "What we saw here I don't even want to think about it. It's that bad. What we saw here was the worst that I have ever seen and I have been doing this for a long time."

More than 50 of those horses have already been adopted.

Caldwell says, "A lot of the horses have found really good homes. We still have quite a few left."

Caldwell says he is not surprised Stallings turned down a plea agreement, "I think this was just the last slap in the face of the people of Gibson County. They put together a very generous plea agreement and he simply maintains that he didn't do anything wrong."

Volunteers have spent countless hours nursing the horses back to good health. Caldwell says he believes a trial will expose the truth, "We will be relieved to be able to testify in open court to what we saw and support that with all the video tape, pictures, and the medical reports. I think we need that. And everybody will be more than happy to come and testify."

Stallings' attorney says his client maintains his innocence and the only way to clear his name is to have a trial. The trial is set for February.

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