TODAY'S WEATHER
Sponsored by Maverik
27°
few clouds
humidity: 86%
wind: 6mph N
H 21 • L 20
Nominate someone in need for Secret Santa 2019

Men accused of stealing cattle enter into plea agreement

Rigby

Share This
Courtesy photo

RIGBY — Two brothers who were caught rebranding and removing ear tags will plead guilty to stealing cattle.

Jared and Heath Lewis, both of Rigby, entered into a plea agreement with Jefferson County Prosecutor Robin Dunn on Nov. 22 related to the cattle theft charges.

Court documents show Heath and Jared Lewis with Double L Farms Inc. in Rigby each were charged with four felonies in November 2015 for rebranding cattle and removing ear tags from cows that didn’t belong to them.

Now, a year later, both have entered into plea agreements, resolving the case.

Court documents show Dunn dismissed the four felony grand theft charges for each Jared and Heath Lewis in exchange for the pair’s guilty plea to two misdemeanor petty theft charges each.

As part of the binding plea agreement, the Lewises will serve five days in jail. The pair will be released during the day from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. for work.

The pair will pay a $1,000 fine each, serve 50 hours of community service, write an apology letter and be placed on probation for a period of one year.

Should they complete their probation successfully, they will be granted a withheld judgment, meaning the charges will be dismissed.

If the court chooses to not follow the plea agreement, both can withdraw their guilty pleas.

Court documents show in August 2015, an unnamed person saw what he believed to be cattle from Ririe-based Foster Land & Cattle Co. mixed in with herd cattle from Double L Farms on land the Lewises were renting in the Palisades area. The two ranches run cattle next to each other in Jefferson County. The investigative report states it is possible the cows could have got mixed together there.

Idaho State Police Brand Inspector Kirk Christensen was called to investigate the herd in September along with a representative of Foster Land & Cattle. Heath Lewis was contacted and asked to come along to assist in looking through his cows. Heath Lewis told investigators he was busy with other things, but gave the two permission to look through his cattle, and if any were found to belong to Foster, that they should be returned.

During the investigation, Christensen discovered five cows belonging to Foster Land & Cattle.

The investigative report showed two calves and one cow allegedly had a Double L Farms brand that was overlaid on top of Foster brand, and the ear tags were removed from all the animals.

The cows were taken to a veterinarian and returned to Foster Land & Cattle.

Jared and Heath Lewis weren’t arrested; however, the Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office filed four felony grand theft charges each against the men.

Now that the charges have been lowered to misdemeanors, the pair will appear before Magistrate Judge Robert Crowley Jr. for their guilty pleas and sentencing. A court date has not been set as of Tuesday afternoon.

This is the second recent case involving multiple felonies that Dunn has reduced to misdemeanor charges. The most recent was a case against Jamie Lovell, who was charged with seven felony counts of lewd conduct, but as part of a plea agreement pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of fornication.

EastIdahoNews.com has reached out to Dunn multiple times for comment on both cases, we will update both articles when he responds.

Related Content

Rigby ranchers accused of theft: “We’re not crooks”

Rebranded cattle and missing ear tags lead to felony charges

SUBMIT A CORRECTION