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Wild Horse Spirit, Ltd.  presents...

Wild Horse NEWS 
                "as it happens"

  "CHILDREN Almost Moved Mountains" -Nevada AB 219 to make wild horse/mustang Nevada's 2nd state
      animal
-
3-21-2001 UPDATES  3-26-2001
and  5-21-2001 and  6-3-2001.  AB219 withdrawn -Final! 
  Evolution of modern horse -Equus Caballus -North American native species.
  
Northern Nevada Virginia Range Dec 1998 Christmas wild horse killings and TRIAL.   4-7-2001  
        CHARGES REINSTATED.  4-13-2001.   TRIAL DATE SET12-22-2001
1-7-2002 Plea-Bargaining to
        lesser charges.   SENTENCING 2-11-2002.   
               WAS JUSTICE SERVED FOR THE SLAUGHTERED WILD HORSES?  CLICK HERE!

 
Wyoming 1-11-2001- BLM wild horse shootings-Update 5-12-2001  
Australian Oct 2000 -government wild horse massacre-
Update 2-27-2001  
  Utah BLM wild horses going to slaughter after adopted-
1-2-2001  
Southeastern Nevada 3-24-2001 and
4-4-2001 Update orphaned colt and Southwestern Utah 4-20-2001
      BLM wild horse shootings.   More shootings 4-16-2003


Southeastern Nevada and Southwestern Utah Wild Horse Shootings
      ...
Incidences only 30 miles apart - were they killed by the same perpetrators?
Another wild horse shooting 4-16-2003.  $14,000 reward offered in Nevada wild horse shootings
...
Information from: Ely Daily Times, RENO, NV.   (Historically, any rewards have been safe as BLM
       has repeatedly failed in any arrests & prosecutions.)

Associated Press
May 18, 2003

      A $14,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the  recent shooting deaths of several wild horses in eastern Nevada.
      Bill Wagers, the Bureau of Land Management's Ely District ranger, said his agency is appealing to the public for help in bringing the responsible person or persons to justice.
      "We know there are people out there who know who shot at least one of the horses. We're hoping that they'll contact us," Wagers told the Ely Times.
      He said the most recent case involved a 15-year-old mare that was paralyzed and suffered for several days before dying in a wash. It was found April 16 (2003) near Panaca, a small town 165 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
      This was an atrocious act _ it made no sense whatsoever, "Wagers said.
      In December (2002), four mustangs were found shot to death near Panaca Summit about 18 miles east of Panaca.
      The Humane Society and National Mustang Association each are chipping in $5,000 for the reward, while the Friends of Red Rock and National Wild Horse Association each are offering $1,000. The BLM is kicking in $2,000.
     
In March 2001, six wild horses were shot to death and a week-old foal was orphaned near Pony Springs north of Panaca.
      A month later, four horses were found fatally shot about 30 miles east of Pony Springs. That same month four more dead mustangs were found on the Utah side of the border.
      Wagers said his agency continues to pursue leads in all the horse shooting cases.
      The federal Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 protects wild horses and burros on public lands. Killing a wild horse or burro is punishable by up to a $2,000 fine or one year in jail, or both.

Information from: Ely Daily Times, RENO, NV

4-20-2001 NEVADA APPEAL by Staff and wire reports

FOUR MORE HORSES SHOT ON PUBLIC LAND...Southwestern Utah near the southeastern Nevada shootings that left an orphaned foal)

Pioche
- Four more wild horses were discovered shot last weekend on public lands in Lincoln County.  A Bureau of Land Management Utah employee discovered the horses while on a weekend excursion.  The horses were found off a county road in the Wilson Creek Herd Management Area, eight miles from the Atlanta Junction at the south end of the Limestone Hills.  The Utah employee reported that three of the horses were dead and one was wounded.  The incident occurred approximately 30 miles east of the Pony Springs area, where seven wild horses were found shot dead in late March.  The newly discovered horses are near the Utah/Nevada border, near where four stallions were found shot dead in Utah earlier this month.  The National Mustang Association, the Friends of Red Rock and the Nevada Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses have joined with BLM in offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identify of those responsible for the shooting of these wild horses.  BLM law enforcement officers are investigating the latest shooting.  Individuals with information on these wild horse shootings are asked to contact BLM law enforcement at either 1-800-521-6501, toll free, or (775) 289-1820.  Callers may remain anonymous. 


Colt recovers following wild-horse massacre near Pony Springs

April 4, 2001-Reno Gazette Journal- Associated Press.

  CEDAR CITY, Utah ---A newborn colt that was the only known survivor of a band of wild horses massacred in southern Nevada last month is back on his feet.  The foal, who has been named Patrick, likely escaped the gunfire that killed six other mustangs because he was too weak to keep up as the horses tried to flee, said David and Annette Hirschi-Boden.  The bodies were found near Pony Springs, not far from Panaca near the Utah border about 100 miles northeast of Las Vegas.  It was believed the horses were shot the weekend of March 17 (2001). The bodies were found by a rancher.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Mustang Association are offering a combined reward of $3000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooters.  The colt was found barely alive near its dead mother and was first cared for by a Nevada family and veterinarian.  (See original article below -3-24-2001)


BLM Investigates Shooting of 6 Wild Horses in southeastern Nevada

March 24, 2001.  Nevada Appeal (Carson City) by Scott Sonner, Associated Press.

RENO, Nevada- Six wild horses were shot to death and a week-old foal was left orphaned last week on a remote stretch of federal land in the southeast Nevada desert, federal investigators said Friday.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) posted a $2000 reward for information leading to the person or persons responsible for the illegal killing of the horses in Lincoln County.  

The six horses found on BLM land about 8 miles west of U.S. Hwy 93 apparently were shot last weekend, BLM spokeswoman Maxine Shane said.  Investigators have no suspects at the current time and are urging the public to come forward with any information about people in the area last weekend, she said.  The bodies were found near Pony Springs, not far from Panaca near the Utah border about 100 miles northeast of Las Vegas.  The foal was found alive next to its dead mother, Shane said.  A rancher found the dead horses and notified the BLM's field office in Ely, Shane said.  The body of a 7th horse also was discovered at the scene, but it was badly decomposed and not related to the shootings, she said.  

The BLM also is continuing to investigate the shooting of 37 wild horses in southwest Wyoming in December and January but the cases are not believed to be related.  BLM law enforcement will turn over any evidence to the Justice Department for possible prosecution, Shane said.  The BLM typically investigates about one case a year of wild horse shootings in Nevada, she said.  Killing a wild horse is a violation of the federal Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, punishable by up to a $2000 fine and a year in prison, or both, for each count.  (See 4-4-2001 Update above.)

(YOU CAN HELP -Anyone with information about the shootings contact BLM's Ely office at 775-289-1800.   If you are unable to contact BLM thru this number, call us, Wild Horse Spirit, at 775-883-5488 and we will help you get to the proper authorities. It is not only BLM's duty to protect and preserve America's free roaming wild horses, but investigations must be given the highest priority over all other issues by BLM and be pursued by the highest professional experts available to bring perpetrators to justice for all Americans now!!!)

3-21-2001- "CHILDREN Almost Moved Nevada Mountains" - NV AB 219  The "wild horse known as the mustang" fights its way to become Nevada's 2nd official state animal, along side the desert bighorn sheep, during the 2001 Nevada Legislative Session.  
 UPDATE 6-3-2001 (Public Lands Ranching rebels attack Wild Horses and the Children’s Bill, AB 219, with Senator Dean Rhoads' amendment No. 1001.  Rhoads is long time public lands rancher permittee and sometimes known as “the father of the sagebrush rebellion”.  In 1971 Senator Raggio fought a bitter battle against now Nevada Supreme Court Justice Cliff Young who favored the native wild horse/mustang as Nevada's first state animal, but Raggio won out making the non-native desert bighorn sheep Nevada's first state animal.)

UPDATE  6-3-2001 - NEVADA LEGISLATIVE “SESSION REPORT”, NV Appeal, Carson City.

 Horse Bill Goes Through Paces 6-3-2001 -The return of the bill (AB 219) seeking to make the mustang Nevada’s (2nd) state animal occasioned more than a little horsing around in the Senate on Saturday (6-2-2001).  The bill was amended (No. 1001) by Senate Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora, turning it into a resolution asking the federal government to do a better job of managing wild horses in Nevada but the Assembly refused to concur.  When the bill returned, Senate Ann O’Connell’s’ Government Affairs Committee agreed to the (original) Assembly version. She said five members of that committee have students from the school (Aggie Roberts elementary), which proposed the bill as a class project in their districts.
  
    
Senate Bill Raggio, R-Reno, said one state animal, the bighorn sheep, is enough and that, if more are added, “pretty soon we’ll have a state zoo.”  

    
Senate Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, said he supports the original version making the mustang Nevada’s second state animal along with the bighorn sheep.  “I have a difficult time relating to a bighorn sheep as a state animal although those here who are a little bit hard-headed can,” he said.  “I can relate to the mustang,” he also said. 
 
   
A few minutes later, Raggio said he had figured out why Neal can relate better to the mustang.  Reading from the description of the mustang enclosed with the legislation, he said, “It identifies the mustang as hard to control, difficult to train and runs loose.”  (Actually, Senator Raggio-R's description is typical of himself and the others, including Senator Rhoads-R, who turned against America's mustang/wild horse as Nevada's 2nd state animal.)

In the end, Rhoads won out and the Senate refused to convert Assembly bill 219 back into a bill designating the mustang Nevada’s second state animal.  You might say the “neighs” had it.  But Senate Bill O’Donnell, R-Las Vegas, served notice the battle would continue in the conference committee.  

Children Want Mustang Honored...
         Students Crusade for new (Nevada) state animal.

 March 21, 2001, Nevada Appeal, Carson City, Nevada –by Staff reports: The big horn sheep may get company as Nevada’s official state animal.  A group of about 100 4th Graders from Henderson (NV) is pushing for the addition of the mustang to Nevada’s law designating as official beast.  Members of the Assembly Government Affairs Committee head some of the Aggie Roberts Elementary School students testify on Tuesday morning.  Under the bill introduced by Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, and backed by a majority of legislators in both the Assembly and the Senate, the big horn sheep would have to scoot over and make room for its equine equivalent.  Aggie Roberts Elementary School teacher, Penny Bichsel, escorted her students north to Carson City to testify before the Legislature.  Half-dozen students, including 9-year-old Jordan Dowell (photo not shown), testified before the committee. The students approached Buckley after deciding the mustang would make a good symbol for the state.  They gathered 1000 signatures in Las Vegas and brought them to the Legislature where about 30 of them attended the first hearing.  Photo caption: Aggie Roberts Elementary School teacher, Penny Bichsel listens to her student Jordan Dowell, 9, testify before the Assembly Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday. The students approached Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, to create legislation that would designate the mustang as an official state animal.  

3-22-2001PM –Wild Horse Spirit was there for the hearing in Carson City.  It was indeed a wonderful sight to see and hear the testimony from these wise children who were the initiators of Nevada AB 219. The children’s  journey reportedly began over two years previously after the senseless and inhumane shootings and slaughter of wild horses near Las Vegas, Nevada, where they live.  The only opponent to AB 219, who identified himself from the American Independent Party, essentially testified that anyone who supported such legislation were “cultists”.  However, a member of the committee assured him that none of these children were “cultists”.  Another member of the committee quoted from submitted written testimony (see below- PS: evolution) that rebuttal the opponent’s testimony that the wild horse was exotic and non-native species to North America.  When testimony was completed, the committee unanimously passed AB 219 which drew a tremendous applause from the public in committee room.  It now proceeds to the Assembly floor for vote.  If passed it proceeds  to the Senate committee; then to Senate floor for vote.  If passed there, AB 219 becomes Nevada law. A law that is long-ovSpirit, recovered from fractured leg, sends the children a KICKING BIG THANK YOUer due.  It took our children in an adult world  to make this happen.  
A tremendous "THANK YOU" to the Aggie Roberts students, their teacher, Ms. Bichsel, Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley and all the other sponsors.  Children have previously moved mountains.  America's children were instrumental in the passage of the federal 1971 Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act originated by Nevada's Wild Horse Annie (Velma B. Johnston) that finally protected wild horses and burros on public lands from horrendous inhumane acts against them and recognized them as "Living Legends of the West".  AB 219 passed the Senate Committee Governmental Affairs on 5-21-2001 and is on its way to the Nevada Senate floor for vote.  If passed by the Senate, it goes to the Governor of signature and into law.
Way to go kids!!                                              See below as to what happened!
  PS:   (EVOLUTION of  the modern horse, Equus caballus)
     “Wildlife groups” consider the bighorn sheep and the American bison “native” to North America. However, both species actually evolved in Asia and came into North America via the Bering Strait land bridge. The horse, Equus caballus, conversely, evolved exclusively in North America and crossed the Bering Strait land bridge into Siberia, traveling in the other direction!  Equus caballus fully evolved on the North America continent before they supposedly became extinct about 8,000 to 10,000 years ago.  
     
So the (wild) horse, Equus caballus, is truly a native species to North America contrary to the myth that they are an exotic, non-native species.
Nevada AB 219 to AMEND Section 1. NRS 235.070 to include "wildhorses/mustangs" as Nevada state animal:     AB (Assembly Bill) 219 AS originally WRITTEN prior to amendment No. 1001 by NV Senator Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora that would have made AB 219 a private vested interest of public lands ranching industry (SEE BELOW):

Assembly Bill No. 219–Assemblymen Buckley, Cegavske, Anderson, Arberry, Bache, Beers, Berman, Brown, Carpenter, Chowning, Claborn, Collins, de Braga, Dini, Gibbons, Giunchigliani, Goldwater, Gustavson, Hettrick, Humke, Koivisto, Lee, Leslie, Manendo, Marvel, McClain, Mortenson, Nolan, Oceguera, Parks, Parnell, Perkins, Price, Smith, Tiffany, Von Tobel and Williams
                                                                 February 22, 2001 

 Joint Sponsors: Senators Titus, O’Donnell, Neal, Wiener, Carlton, Amodei, Care, Coffin, James, Schneider, Shaffer, Townsend and Washington (However, the senator's names in bold later turned against America's wild horses and voted against this bill.)

 Referred to Committee on Government Affairs

 SUMMARY—Designates mustang as official state animal. (BDR 19‑1119)

AN ACT relating to state emblems; designating the mustang as an official state animal; and providing other matters properly relating thereto.

 THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEVADA, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

       1-1    Section 1. NRS 235.070 is hereby amended to read as follows: (blue notes the new language of the law and red the old language) (blue notes the new language of the law and red the old language)  
1-2    235.070  The animal known as the desert bighorn sheep (Ovis
1-3   canadensis nelsoni)
[is] and the wild horse known as the mustang (Equus
1-4   caballus) are hereby designated as the official state [animal] animals of 
1-5   the State of Nevada.

AB 219 passed the Assembly Floor on 3-26-2001 and is on its way to the Senate committeeSee votes below.  Nevada Assembly Committee on Governmental Affairs passed AB219 with 39 "for", 2 "against" and 1 "excused" with no absences at time of vote.  Sharron Angle, R-Washoe County, District 29, and  John W. Marvel (a cosponsors), R-Battle Mountain, District Humbolt, Pershing, Elko (Part), Eureka (Part), Lander (Part), No. 34 voted against AB219 and Vivian L. Freeman, D-Washoe County, District 24 was "excused". 
5-21-2000 AB219 passed the Nevada Senate Committee Governmental Affairs with a vote of 6 for and 1 against.  Senator Bill Raggio, R-Washoe County, District No.3, was the only committed member to vote against AB219 and is on its way for a vote by the Nevada Senate floor.
5-26-2001 Amendment No. 1001 to AB 219 by Senator Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora, drastically and negatively alters original bill to a private vested interests public lands ranching bill with no language referring to making the wild horse/mustang Nevada's 2nd state animal.  Go to Update 6-3-2001.
6-5-2001 Final Update on AB 219   -NV Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, creator of AB 219 that simply would have made the wild horse/mustang Nevada’s 2nd state animal, with no strings attached, withdrew AB 219 entirely because of the “hard-headed”, quote by NV Senator Joe Neal, D-Las Vegas, legislative wild horse opponents who would not even consider making the wild horse/mustang as a State Horse as a compromise.  
            
Wild Horse Spirit agreed with her move as amendment No. 1001 introduced by NV Senator Dean Rhoads, public lands rancher and sometimes known as the “father of the sagebrush rebellion”, would have been only more legislation for private vested interest of the public lands ranching industry at taxpayers expense.  We understand, these children will continue their fight and try for Nevada’s next legislative session in 2003.  Children, never give up for a cause that you know is correct and morally right!!

Australian Governmental Brumby Slaughter - happened October 2000

  SENT:  Saturday, 2-17-2001 1:53AM         
(You Can Help! )  See below -Australian government under pressure from overseas emails. 
See below how the name "brumbies" originated for Australia's wild horses.
Australian Governmental Brumby Slaughter... Animal welfare's worst nightmare
2-17-2001  
Dear Sir/Madam,
Introduction:  My name is Lyall Sempf. I study brumbies (Australian wild horses) and their habits.  I am writing a book on my findings and those findings of other people I have contacted.  I have studied brumbies for many years.  The brumby is Australia's wild horse.  I have been studying brumbies in the Guy Fawkes River National Park, New South Wales, Australia, from time to time.  In late October of last year hundreds of brumbies were slaughtered in the park by the
government department known as the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS).  I am writing to ask for your help.  No money is required, just a small amount of your time to protest to those responsible, two government ministers and possibly the Australian Embassy in your country.  I am sending emails out to literally hundreds and hundreds of animal welfare groups and contacts world wide.  I thank God for the internet.  I don't belong to any animal welfare group.  I have been so sickened by the event of last October that I felt compelled to do the web and emails every night for a couple of months.  

THE STORY:
      Hundreds of brumbies were shot from the air over a few days by three gunman in helicopters.  Due to the nature of the terrain being rough and covered with trees, this slaughter of the brumbies resulted in more than one bullet being needed for many of the horses.  One unfortunate horse was found with eleven bullet holes in him.  The day after the slaughter had ceased, an acquaintance of mine found horses still alive and dying an agonizing and painful death.  This acquaintance of mine also told me that he found bullet holes in the brumbies in every possible part of the body - the head, neck, withers, shoulder, chest, back, stomach, rump and legs.  When I was in the park a few weeks ago I found a stallion with a bad lameness in his front left leg.  I was unable to get close enough though to see whether it was a natural wound or a bullet wound.  I will have to go back again and find him.  I spoke with one of the Park Rangers in January 1998 while in the National Park.  He is the one who was partly responsible for the organization of the slaughter, and he was one of the three who fired the bullets.
    I never advised him at the time why I was in the park.  The discussion of brumby culling was brought up when one of my friends talked about the brumbies in the park.  He told my friend and myself that the National Parks and Wildlife Service were scared to shoot the brombies due to fear of public opinion.  This slaughter went ahead in October secretly with no advice given to, or consultation sought from the Australian public or Animal Welfare Groups.  When the slaughter was discovered, one of the claims of the NPWS was that the brumbies were starving and dying from lack of food in the park due to bush fires that has gone through the park.  There were bush fires in the park, but the brumbies were well and had shiny coats as can be verified by photos. The slaughter was carried out quickly, in fact so quickly that a proper check wasn't done to ensure that people weren't in the park during the slaughter.  The famous National Horse Trail goes through this park.  Two ladies from New South Wales rode their horses right into the slaughter zone.  They were quickly advised to leave the park and were told that the rifleman were shooting feral goats and pigs.  Estimated numbers of remaining brumbies has been put at about 45.  I have seen 10 alive, and signs of about another 10 in the area in which I searched a few weeks ago.  The well respected Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (R.S.P.C.A.) has laid legal charges against the National Parks and Wildlife Service.  They have a good case, but as they are fighting the government, it will be difficulty.  If the government does win the court case, it will be a hollow win in the eyes of many Australians.

WHAT TO DO:
    1.  Contact the Australian R.S.P.C.A. (see below) to confirm what I am saying is true.  Get the facts from them.
    2.  Let your protest be known to New South Wales Government ministers, and the government department New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service who were responsible for the slaughter.
    3.  Let your feelings be known to the Australian Embassy in your country.
LASTLY:   If you would like any more information please feel free to email me.  I have the names of the three men who fired the bullets.  I also have access to photos taken after the slaughter.  To those of you who don't speak English and need a translator, I am sorry.

Yours sincerely,
Lyall Sempf
21 Range View Drive
Gatton, Queensland
Australia 4343
email:   lksempf@iprimus.com.au
Phone:  your overseas access code + 61 7 5462 2337

2-27-2001 UPDATE:  Lyall stated that independent investigator, Dr. English, employed by the National Parks Department (NPW), stated in his "independent" report, "That the shooting was carried out in a humane way, under approved protocols designed to kill horses as quickly as possible".  Lyall said his report was incorrect and biased in favor of the NPW.  Lyall added that Dr. English at a meeting a few weeks ago mentioned that Australia is under international pressure, so all emails from overseas must be having some effect.  Dr. English's email is anthonye@camden.usyd.edu.au.   If anyone would care to drop him a line about their feelings to "down under". 

Contacts to protest Aussie Slaughter of brombies -
2.   New South Wales Government:
      a.  The Honourable Richard Amery,
            NSW Minister for Agriculture,
            Level 17, "Parkview",
            157 Liverpool Street
            Sidney Australia 2000  Fax:  your overseas access code + 61 2 9372 0199
          
email  richard.amery@parliament.nsw.gov.au
       b.  The Honourable Bob Debus
             NSW Minister for Environment
             Level 19, Roden Cutler House
             24 Campbell Street,
             Sydney Australia 2000   Fax:  your overseas access code + 61 2 9281 1115
           
email  bob.debus@parliament.nsw.gov.au
3.  NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Centre:  email:  info@npws.nsw.gov.au
                 Phone:  your overseas access code + 61 2 9251 8482
4.  NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Dorrigo Office:  Phone:  your overseas access code
        + 61 2 6657 2309 (Dorrigo Office is directly responsible for the National Park) (Dorrigo office manages the GFRNP)
6.    Also contact Dr. English, government employee, at anthonye@camden.usyd.edu.au , Private Mailbag 3, 425 Werombi
      Road, Camden NSW, Australia 2570, who stated, "That the (unannounced) shooting was carried out in a humane
     way, under approved (governmental) protocols designed to kill horses as quickly as possible".
  Dr. English also
      stated that Australia is under international pressure from all the overseas emails.
7.   The Australian Embassy, Ambassador Michael Thawley, 1601 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036
ALSO CONTACT R.S.P.C.A to let them know your feelings to help them in a suit against the perpetrators of this ignorant and irresponsible act of cruelty:
1.  Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, New South Wales Headquarters:
        email:  rspcansw@ozemail.com.au
        Phone: your overseas access code + 61 2 9709 5433
        Fax:  your overseas access code + 61 2 9796 2258
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James Brumby ( 1771 - 1838 ) was born in England. He migrated to Australia. He was a pastoralist and soldier, and owned land and horses at Mulgrave Place, Australia.  According to family tradition, around the early 1800's, he sailed to Tasmania.  He left horses which were unable to be mustered or disposed of.  These were known as Brumby's horses, and later as brumbies.  This name has stood the test of Australian tradition and is the "official" name of Australia's wild horse.   (Return to Brombies)
 
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January 11, 2001

Wyoming Mustang Shootings Probed
BY CHRISTOPHER SMITH
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE


    In what federal officials say is one of the worst random killings of wild horses since they were protected by Congress 30 years ago, a reward of almost $13,000 has been offered to find out who shot 34 mustangs in southwestern Wyoming recently.
    Since Dec. 15, Bureau of Land Management officials in Rock Springs (WY) have discovered 30 dead wild horses, while BLM rangers in Rawlins (WY) have found another three north of Rawlins and a fourth near Baggs. The most recent discovery was Monday, when officers found 16 dead horses about 30 miles northeast of the town of Rock Springs, 180 miles east of Salt Lake City.  Investigators are unsure whether the shootings are related but believe they occurred in the same time period.
    "It appears all of the horses were shot, and one horse was still alive when we found it Friday, but due to its injuries the officers on hand had to put it down," said Mary Apple, Wyoming BLM spokesperson in Rawlins. "We are asking for the public's help in solving this."
    Several national and local humane groups have donated money to a reward fund, which currently stands at $12,600.  "We've been told that investigating these types of cases can be very difficult unless someone steps forward, so we hope this reward will help ensure that those responsible for these gruesome attacks will be apprehended and brought to justice," said Andrea Lococo, Rocky Mountain coordinator of the Fund For Animals. "Wild horses have been the unfortunate victims of senseless cruelty for too long."
    Anyone with information about the horse shootings is asked to contact BLM law enforcement officers in Rock Springs or Rawlings.  Under the 1971 Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act, any person who maliciously causes the death or harassment of a mustang shall be subject to a fine of up to $100,000 and/or a one-year prison term per violation.  Two previous cases of mustang shootings may be compared in scale with the Wyoming killings now under investigation.
    In September 1988, BLM officials reported 128 wild horses had been gunned down near the central Nevada town of Austin in Lander County. No one was prosecuted for those horse deaths.
    During Christmas 1998, more than 30 wild horses were shot near Virginia City, Nevada. The feral horses were managed by the state of Nevada and did not fall under the protection of the federal wild horse act. Two Marines stationed in Fallon and a Reno man were arrested and charged, but a judge ruled that there was no case against the three men except for a single horse-shooting to which each admitted. The trio are awaiting trial on gross misdemeanor charges, although prosecutors asked the Nevada Supreme Court in October to overturn the lower judge's decision and clear the way for 22 felony counts to be filed against the men. The court has yet to rule.  The two Marines received "less-than-honorable" military discharges because of the shootings.

  BLM still seeks horse slayers 5-12-2001
Casper Star-Tribune

     CHEYENNE (AP) -- The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is not giving up on finding whoever is responsible for the shooting of 37 wild horses in southern Wyoming, a BLM spokeswoman said.  Investigators have no suspects and are still pursuing all leads, said spokeswoman Cindy Wertz. She declined to elaborate further on the multi-agency investigation headed by the BLM into the shooting deaths.
    The shot horses were discovered beginning in early December near Rawlins and Rock Springs. Most were discovered on the BLM Rock Springs grazing allotment.
    "We're not losing hope that we're going to find the people who did this," Wertz said.
    The mass shooting is the worst ever in Wyoming. Six horses were shot to death in Lander several years ago but the killers were never found. In Nevada, three men face charges following the 1998 shooting of more than 30 wild horses near Virginia City.
    A $30,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to a conviction in the shootings. The reward is funded by the BLM, conservation groups and a ranching association.
    About 42,000 wild horses roam the West, according to the BLM. About 6,200 of the horses are in Wyoming, mostly in the southwestern area of the state. Wild horses are a federally protected species and the penalty for shooting one horse is up to a year imprisonment and $100,000 in fines.
    The BLM has distributed fliers across Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Montana and Idaho seeking help from the public on the deaths.
    Anyone with information is asked to contact the BLM in Rock Springs at (307) 352-0214 or in Rawlins at (307) 328-4211.  (Don't hold your breath as BLM has never found wild horse killers before!!!)
                                                             ####

(Wild Horse Spirit pledged $100 toward the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s).)

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Utah Wild Horses Still Being Sent to Slaughter
 Monday, January 1, 2001
 
BY CHRISTOPHER SMITH
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

   
    One of every 10 wild horses killed at three big U.S. slaughterhouses in 1999 was adopted from Utah, newly released federal records show.
    Adopters of wild horses sign agreements that they do not intend to use the horses for commercial purposes or sell them to a slaughterhouse.  But logs maintained by the meatpacking plants -- two in Texas and one in Nebraska -- show nearly 300 federally protected mustangs were processed into meat and pet food in 1999, the most recent year data were available. Most of the wild horses slaughtered at the plants were less than 6 years old and were killed within months of owners' receiving title to them.  Of the 300 mustangs slaughtered at the three plants, 35 carried "freeze-brand" markings indicating they were adopted from Utah herds. The names of 33 Utah residents holding title to slaughtered wild horses also are included in the partial records, released by the Bureau of Land Management under the Freedom of Information Act to animal-rights groups that have sued the federal agency twice over failure to protect the horses as Congress intended.
    The Fund for Animals and the Animal Protection Institute of America have gone to federal court in Reno, Nev., charging that the BLM is failing to prosecute people who adopt wild horses only to sell them to slaughterhouses.
    U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben has given the BLM until Jan. 28 to document how many wild horses it adopted out have been slaughtered since 1998 and how many of those cases have been recommended for prosecution. Thousands of domesticated horses are butchered annually at slaughterhouses. Fears of mad cow disease in Europe have fueled a rise in price for exported U.S. horse meat overseas. But wild horse advocates have argued that Congress never intended the "living legends of the West" to be sold to slaughterhouses just months after adoption and wind up as the featured entree at a Belgian cafe.
    "If a horse is old, lame or infirm, the humane thing to do is have a professional euthanize the animal and then the remains go to a rendering plant," said Andrea Lococo, Rocky Mountain coordinator for the Fund for Animals. "These wild horses were given a special designation by Congress, and we don't believe Congress ever intended them to be sent to slaughter."
    Thus far in the legal battle, McKibben has agreed with that interpretation of the law and has twice ordered the BLM to take steps to prevent adopters from routinely selling horses for commercial purposes shortly after taking title. "The problem is not nearly acute as it was a number of years ago," McKibben said during a Nov. 29 court hearing. However, he said, "it does appear to me that the BLM has been somewhat reluctant in moving quickly."
    An adopter who signs the standard adoption maintenance agreement and the application for title and then sells the mustang to a slaughterhouse could be prosecuted under the federal False Claims Act with a class D felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The so-called attestation language in the agreements was part of a 1997 settlement of the second suit brought by wild horse advocates against the BLM. At the time, McKibben ordered the BLM to change all forms to include an attestation that "I hereby state that I have no intent to sell this wild horse or burro for slaughter or bucking stock, or for processing into commercial products."
    During the Nov. 29 court hearing, U.S. Justice Department attorneys representing the BLM said that all agency offices have been using the new adoption and title forms with the attestation language since April 1998. The agency checks the name of every potential adopter with a database of past violations, such as adopted horses winding up at slaughterhouses.  "The adoption procedures . . . do well indicate to the BLM through its database whether there are any offenders or whether there are any problems with people who repeatedly adopt horses," said Justice Department attorney Lyn Jacobs. "That is certainly something that has been addressed by the BLM."
    The slaughterhouse logs tell a different story. Some Utahans whose wild horses wind up at slaughterhouses are regularly adopting more horses.  "I've adopted several of them," said Wade Jensen of Cleveland in Emery County, who took title to a BLM wild horse he adopted in January 1999. The horse was slaughtered eight months later at Central Nebraska Packing in North Platte, Neb. "I've never sold one to a slaughterhouse. I don't know where they go when I sell one," Jensen told The Salt Lake Tribune. "When I adopt them they are my property to do with what I please. I've never broken the law."
    There is no indication that any Utah adopter has ever been prosecuted for selling a wild horse that wound up butchered for meat products. BLM officials have said they view the court-ordered attestation language as a "gray area" of law.
    "Adopters now sign an agreement that says it's not their intent to sell the horse for slaughter, but it's not clear just how long that signed agreement is intended to last," BLM Wild Horse Program Director Tom Pagacnik told The Tribune in October 1999, shortly after the agency announced that 575 mustangs wound up in slaughterhouses in the first year after the tougher requirements.
    Wild horse advocates, however, charge that the BLM is ignoring the routine trafficking of adopted young, healthy mustangs being sold at auction or sale yards and shipped to packing plants. "Adopters have to be pretty naive not to know these animals are being purchased by buyers for slaughter," said Lococo of the Fund for Animals. "These people sign a federal agreement to provide humane care to these horses for the rest of their lives, and they have the opportunity to return the animals back to the BLM before they apply for title."
    Slaughterhouse logs show most mustangs going to slaughter were titled to adopters only weeks or months earlier. In two cases of Utah adopters found in the logs, the horses were butchered a week before the BLM titled the horses to the adopters. Five wild horses adopted by Charles Riddle of Fairview in Sanpete County were slaughtered at the same time, with three of the horses titled to Riddle just six months earlier. Riddle could not be reached by The Tribune.
    McKibben said he is most concerned by the BLM's inability to prevent people from adopting more mustangs when the horses they have previously adopted wound up at slaughterhouses. "It's one thing to say we didn't know what their intent was originally," he said. "But if they signed the document indicating that they wouldn't slaughter the horse, and then they slaughtered the horse and you have that in your databank, and notwithstanding that you went ahead and allowed them to take a horse again, that would be extremely troubling."
    McKibben said there is no proof of repeated abuses by adopters before his court, and federal attorneys maintain that the information they have been told to provide the judge in January also will show no discrepancies.
    "There's no evidence that there are continuing problems with the wild horse program," said Jacobs.
    But Lococo said the slaughterhouse logs directly contradict such assertions. "There is no excuse for the BLM not to be investigating the circumstances of why these horses are being carted off to slaughter just weeks after adopters receive title," she said. "All they need to do is prosecute a few of these people and that will dramatically reduce this problem."

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December 27, 1998 -Nevada Slaughter


12-28-98 "Hope" critically wounded, lays paralyzed.

34 Virginia Range wild horses Shot & Killed - 1998 Christmas Holidays
Story and Continued Update -March 6, 2001

See Below  
UPDATE 4-7-2001 and 4-13-2001.  Trial date
set for 1-7-2002.  Then plea-bargaining to lesser charges with sentencing 2-11-2002 by Judge Griffin. Final Chapter??


April 7, 2001 
Nevada Supreme Court Panel reinstates 7 additional (horses) in the 1998
Christmas holiday killings of northern Nevada Wild Horses.
 


NEVADA SUPREME COURT PANEL ORDER
(4-5-2001 filed):

The last paragraph of the 10 page "ORDER" to Storey County read as follows:  "For the reasons stated above, we affirm the district's court's ruling that the State may not charge respondents in a single count with the killing of multiple horses for purposes of establishing a felony violation of NRS 206.150.  We reverse the district court's determination (Judge Griffin) that the State failed to establish probable cause that respondents violated NRS 206.150 with respect to horses 9, 15, 16, 17, 19, 23 and 24. Because the justice court (Justice of the Peace in Virginia City NV) properly found probable cause to believe respondents killed each of these horses, we concluded the district court has discretion on remand to allow the State to amend the information to charge respondents with gross misdemeanor violations of NRS 206.150 in connection with the deaths of horses 9, 15, 16, 17, 19, 23 and 24. We affirm the district court's rulings in all other respects.  Accordingly, we ORDER the judgment of the district court AFFIRMED IN PART, AND REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with this order."   
            Signed C.J. Maupin, J. Shearing and J. Becker, NV Supreme Court justices.


April 7, 2001
–Nevada Appeal and Reno Gazette Journal

COURT REVIVES WILD HORSE CHARGES–HIGH COURT REINSTATES CHARGES IN HORSE DEATHS
Carson City, NV –by Brendan Riley, Associated Press
The Nevada Supreme Court says more wild horse killing can be filed against two ex-Marines and a friend, despite defense lawyers’ claims of a weak, fuzzy case against their clients.  The high court decided Friday to return the case to Carson District Judge Mike Griffin, saying he could allow persecutors to file SEVEN more gross misdemeanor charges against former Lance Cpls. Scott Brendle and Darien Brock and their former Wooster High friend, Anthony Merlino.  That’s in addition to one gross misdemeanor count per defendant that Griffin had allowed earlier.  While the Supreme Court allowed for more charges, it rejected claims by the Storey County district attorney’s office that there was probable cause for 22 counts against each defendant.  Prosecutors also argued there’s a legal basis for turning the single gross-misdemeanor counts into felonies against Brendle, Brock and Merlino.  The three were arrested after more than 30 wild horses were shot near this historic mining town at Christmastime 1998.  Most were found dead although several wounded horses had to be destroyed by officers.  The shootings prompted international outrage, and led to less-than-honorable military discharges for Brendle and Brock.  Lawyers for the defendants argued that Griffin found there was not case against the three men except for a single horse shooting to which each admitted, and that finding couldn’t be overturned without a showing of substantial error.  They also contended Griffin’s ruling would be difficult to over-turn because prosecutors conceded there could have been other people shooting horses in the area --- even before Brock, Brendle and Merlino arrived.  The lawyers also said there are no legislative standards for a prosecution to plan to add the valve of each horse until the total tope $5000 --- the point at which a gross misdemeanor turns into a felony.  Unlike prized Thoroughbreds worth fortunes, a wild horse’s value is highly subjective --- priceless to those who see them as a symbol of the Wild West, worthless to some ranchers who consider them rangeland pests that compete with livestock for feed.  (See 4-13-2001 UPDATE news article below)


April 13, 2001 Update -Comstock Chronicle, Virginia City (98 Christmas slaughter)


NV Supreme Court Rules on Lagomarsino Canyon Horse Slayings
 

4-13-2001 Virginia City, Nevada.
A new trial is being scheduled for the three defendants in the grisly killing of 27 wild horses in Lagomarsino Canyon in 1998.  The new trial, tentatively scheduled for July 2001, is prompted by the Supreme Court of Nevada’s recent reversal of key portions of determinations in the District Court.

 The Supreme Court justices (panel of three) concluded that District Court Judge Griffin “committed substantial error” when he found that the State had failed to establish “probable cause” regarding the murder of 7 horses in addition to the single horse –called #12- killing with which each defendant is currently charged.  In so finding, the Supreme Court justices reaffirmed the original finding of the Storey County Justice Court (May 99).  According to the ruling, the justices found that the State presented sufficient evidence to “support a reasonable inference” that the three men accused of the brutal killings committed the crime because they had “access to such weapons, they admitted being in Lagomarsino Canyon at or near the time period in which the horses were shot, they admitted shooting into a herd of horses, and they admitted returning to collect or destroy evidence.”  The court further based its reversal on a review of the Justice Court record in which ballistics’ reports regarding the slaughtered animals and the crime scene revealed that the .22 caliber projectiles found in and around the bodies were “identical projectiles”. 

 The District Court was correct in its reading of the NRS statute that the value of each animal killed could not be considered in aggregate to reach the cost level where it would constitute a single felony as the State –Storey County- had attempted to do.  The Supreme Court also sustained the District Court’s determination that allows the State to amend the information to allege 1) more specific facts and 2) the “singular gross misdemeanor crime” in killing horse #12.

This is particularly interesting since the state has never “actually charged” the accused with a gross misdemeanor violation.  After the court’s ruling that the felony charge was improper, “technically no formal charge remained.”  The Supreme Court notes that the “language of the district court’s order is somewhat confusing”.  The ruling states that the accused raised no objection to the District Court’s ruling and then footnotes this fact with the revelation of the court transcript showing that one of the attorneys for the accused “drafted the order at the request of the district court and thus may have composed language in question.”

  The new trial will not be held in Storey County, but will be moved to Carson City (Nevada). See Trial Date set below.

Trial Date for the three charged Reno high school classmates, Merlino, Brock and Brendle, in the 1998 December Christmas holiday slaughter of reportedly 34 wild horses just east of Reno/Sparks, Nevada has been officially set.  Jury selection will began on Monday, January 7, 2002 with Trial ending Tuesday, January 22, 2002 in Judge Michael Griffin's District Court, Carson City, Nevada.  The threesome will face eight gross misdemeanor charges, including the original #12, plus each wild horse labeled # 9, 15, 17, 19, 23 and 24 by Storey County prosecutors. 

December 22, 2001 - Nevada Appeal, Carson City NV

Accused Horse Killers in Court
By F.T. Norton, Appeal Staff Writer
    VIRGINIA CITY – Two of the three men accused in the 1998 Christmas-time slaughter of more than 30 wild horses near Virginia City are expected to enter plea agreements to lesser charges, said Storey  County Deputy District Attorney Sharon Claassen on Thursday.
    Originally set to enter pleas today in Virginia City in front of District Judge Michael Griffin, the hearing was postponed because Griffin was ill.
    A new date is expected to be set before January 7 2002 when the trio’s trial was scheduled to begin.
    “Two of the three are expected to plea,” said Classen.  She was unable to speak about the specifics of those agreements.  “The negotiations are in the process of being finalized,” she said.
     One of these expected to enter a plea is Anthony Merlino, a Reno construction worker.
    “After a long and arduous process we believe that there will be a fair resolution.  Mr. Merlino is looking forward to getting this behind him,” said Merlino’s attorney Scott Freeman.  Attorney’s for the other two men were unavailable for comment.
     Merlino and former U.S. Marines Darien Brock and Scott Brendle, were arrested in January 1999 after a December 27, 1998 report of horses shot in the Largomarcino Canyon area between Lockwood and Virginia City.
    Searchers eventually located a total of 33 shot horses---29 that were dead and four that had to be destroyed.
    A tip from a woman who allegedly heard one of the defendants at a party bragging about shooting the horses led authorities to Merlino.  Brock and Brendle were home on Christmas leave from their bases in Southern California at the time of the shooting.  The three men are Reno natives and attended high school together.
    The three men admitted they shot at horses and killed one in the area on the night of December 27, 1998, the first day authorities began discovering the string of carcasses.
    Brendle also confessed to spraying one dying or dead horse with a fire extinguisher.  But all three denied any involvement in a mass killing.
    Both Brendle and Brock were given less-than-honorable discharges from the Marine Corps following their arrests.

Justice for the slaughtered wild horses will not be served by simple "slap-on-the-hand" plea bargaining.  The trial should proceed as scheduled with all evidence presented in a court of law before a jury and not covered up by a plea bargaining.. SEE 1-7-2002 below-UPDATE.  NO TRIAL.  Suspects below:

1-15-99 at time of Merlino's arraignment in Virginia City 2-1-99 at time of Brock's arraignment in Virginia City  2-1-99 at time of Brendle's arraignment in Virginia City   
   Merlino                       Brock                        Brendle    

The Associated Press State & Local Wire
January 7, 2002, Monday
, BC cycle State and Regional

Defendants enter pleas in Nevada horse shooting case
By BRENDAN RILEY, Associated Press Writer
CARSON CITY, Nev.


Two men charged in the slaughter of dozens of wild horses in the hills east of Reno pleaded no contest Monday to single gross misdemeanor counts, and a third defendant pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

Sentencing was set for Feb. 11 in the Christmastime 1998 case that prompted international outrage and led to less-than-honorable military discharges for two of the three former Reno high school buddies.

Scott Brendle, 24, and Darien Brock, 23, pleaded no contest to gross misdemeanor counts of killing or maiming an animal. Those pleas will be treated as guilty pleas. The two former Marine lance corporals could face up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,000. Anthony Merlino, 23, a Reno construction worker who admitted he shot one injured horse to put it out of its misery, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace. He faces up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

District Judge Mike Griffin said he had received thousands of letters from individuals and organizations urging him to impose harsh sentences.

"They want me to put these people in prison for life on something the DA has no evidence," Griffin said.

Carcasses of 33 horses were found in the area. But the three defendants said most of the horses already had been slaughtered when they came upon them. Their lawyers noted bullets and shell casings at the scene could have come from nearly 20 different types of guns.

Those seeking harsh penalties included the Humane Society of the United States, which said the negotiated pleas were unwarranted "given the extraordinary depravity of this case."

The Humane Society's Ariana Huemer, in a letter sent Friday to Griffin, said the Nevada Supreme Court recently had ruled there was enough evidence to charge the men for killing several horses.

But the judge's view of the evidence wasn't challenged by Deputy District Attorney Sharon Claassen.

"There simply was no affirmative evidence," she said in court.

The three defendants gave brief responses when the judge questioned them about their pleas. Outside court, their lawyers spoke to reporters but the defendants had no comment.

"Everyone has this all wrong," said Merlino's lawyer Scott Freeman. "They got the wrong guys. The district attorney used all those resources, and came up with zero."

Brendle's lawyer John Ohlson said his client tried to enter a similar plea three years ago, adding, "Scott was put through the wringer in the case - to get to the same point where we started out."

"From day one, they admitted to one horse," added Brock's lawyer Marc Picker. "Their story hasn't changed."

The horse shootings occurred on Dec. 27, 1998, and the three men were arrested in February 1999. They originally were charged with killing more than two dozen wild horses.

A justice of the peace dismissed the more serious charges against them after a preliminary hearing in September 1999.

Then in March, Griffin further reduced the prosecution's case, saying there was insufficient evidence to proceed on all but one gross misdemeanor involving a single horse.

The trial was postponed the next month when Griffin granted a rare change of venue, saying media coverage had stacked tiny Storey County against the defendants.

In April the Nevada Supreme Court said prosecutors could file seven more gross misdemeanor counts against the defendants, but the state high court rejected claims by the district attorney's office that there was probable cause for 22 counts against each defendant.

The 1999 Nevada Legislature passed a law making the killing of a wild horse a felony instead of a misdemeanor - a move that has been described by Claassen as the best result of the case.

"It's frustrating, but the district attorney has a duty not to prosecute cases where you don't have the evidence to back the charges," Claassen said after the proceedings.

"While we may speculate and have gut feelings about what happened, when you get to the courtroom you must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

"I feel comfortable that the pleas reflect the charges we could have convicted them on."

"The problem was that we could match one casing to one of their guns. But the slugs recovered from the horses were so bashed up that we could only tell what type they were - not what gun they were fired from."

2-11-2002 SENTENCING AFTER THREE YEARS...Final Chapter????

 February 12, 2002 Nevada Appeal-Carson City NV
 By Brendan Riley, Associated Press 

Brief Jail Time, Fines for Horse Shooting
      Two defendants in a horse slaughter case that prompted international outrage were sentenced Monday to brief jail terms and fines.  A third defendant was fined and put on probation.

      More than three years after dozens of wild mustangs were gunned down near Reno, District Judge Michael Griffin imposed 39-day jail terms on Scott Brendle, 24, and Darien Brock, 23, ordered probation for up to two years and fined them $2,000 apiece.

     Anthony Merlino, 23, was placed on one year’s probation and fined $1,000.  All three Reno men also must complete 100 hours of community service and split a $1,500 restitution charge.

      Harsher sentences had been sought by prosecutors and by the Humane Society of the United States.  But Griffin said he based his decision on what was known for certain…not “what I think might have happened”.

      Griffin also noted that tests on the dead horses showed many of them died from guns that the defendants didn’t own. 

      The judge also said he had received “tens of thousands” of letters from people upset about the case, including some letters turned over to authorities because of death threats against the defendants.

      The case began Christmastime 1998, when carcasses of 33 wild mustangs were found in the hills east of Reno.  Multiple felony counts were filed against the three former Reno high school buddies.

      But the most serious charges were dismissed in court proceedings, and the Nevada Supreme Court ruled last year that there was no probable cause for dozens of counts against each defendant.

      Finally, in a plea bargain, Brendle and Brock pleaded no contest to single gross misdemeanor counts of killing or maiming an animal, and Merlino pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

      Brendle and Brock, former Marine lance corporals who received less-than-honorable military discharges because of the case, could have been jailed for up to one year.  Merlino, a construction worker who admitted he shot one injured horse to put it out of its misery, could have been jailed up to six month.

      After the sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Sharon Claassen said she remains convinced the three were responsible for more than the death of one horse…”but if I can’t prove it, it doesn’t matter what I think.”.

      Claassen also said the plea agreement was the best way to resolve the case.  Though she said she wanted “a better dose of jail time” for the defendants, all now have convictions on their records.

      Brendle, Brock and Merlino didn’t comment after the sentencing. Brendle’s lawyer John Ohlson and Brock’s attorney Marc Picker both said their clients shouldn’t have received jail time.

      Merlino’s lawyer Scott Freeman said critics of the case hadn’t bothered to read the lengthy files that showed how weak the evidence was, adding, “These people have no idea what they’re talking about.”

     Ohlson added that animal rights groups know that their criticism in such cases will help them get contributions, and now that the Nevada case is over they’ll move on to “whatever outrage is available.”

      Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society said he was disappointed that the sentences weren’t harsher because the horse shootings “were so heinous and out of bounds.”

      “It’s important that sentences be strong, to send a signal to everyone that this conduct is totally unacceptable,” Pacelle said.  “We consider these acts to be barbaric.”

1-15-99 at time of Merlino's arraignment in Virginia City    2-1-99 at time of Brock's arraignment in Virginia City    2-1-99 at time of Brendle's arraignment in Virginia City
 Anthony Merlino              Darien Brock             Scott Brendle       SEE BELOW:


           ALVIN, 4-month-old colt, labeled #4 by the prosecution. (pass mouse over photo)

 
ex-Marine, Darien Brock, with his foot upon Alvin in a trophy-like pose during the 98 Christmas holiday slaughter. Storey Co Deputy D.A. Claassen presented this photo to Judge Griffin at time of sentencing on 2-11-2002   2-17-2002, 3 years after slaughter. Alvin's remains.
         On 2-11-2002 Storey County Deputy D.A. Claassen, showing Brock's frame of mind, presented the photo on the left to District Court Judge Griffin at time of the sentencing in an attempt to persuade Judge Griffin to give a maximum sentence under the lesser charges plea-bargaining agreement that included only one horse, #12.  The 98 Christmas holiday trophy-like photo is ex-Marine Darien Brock with his foot upon the 4-month old colt, #4 horse, ALVIN, as we named him. This photo was from a roll of film confiscated by the investigators from the defendants' camera.  The defendant's photo show they had not yet sprayed the colt with a fire extinguisher.  Another similar photo included ex-Marine Scott Brendle with his foot upon the colt, too.  The color photo on the right taken on 2-17-2002, three years after the slaughter, is that of Alvin's remains where he died.

12-27-98 Alvin, 4-month old colt sprayed by defendants      12-27-98 Alvin, 4-month old colt sprayed by defendants. Not only were his eyes and nose sprayed, but the defendants also sprayed his rectal and genital areas. Those photos not shown.
      Photos taken late afternoon of 12-27-98 after the tragedy had been reported to the authorities.  By this time, the defendants had sprayed Alvin with a fire extinguisher.  

Storey County Virginia City Court House Was justice served for the slaughtered wild horses without a trial so that all evidence could have been presented and decided by a jury?    Go to "HOPE", paralyzed 6 month old filly. Go to "BUGZ", 6 month old survivor.

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