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Idaho man to serve 4 days in jail after horses die of thirst


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A man who allowed four horses to die in a pasture without water in 2018 was sentenced to four days in jail and two years of probation by Third Judicial District Magistrate Judge Robert Jackson on Friday.

Ivan “Shannon” Pearce II, of New Plymouth, was found guilty of four counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty after a jury trial in November. Jackson imposed an underlying sentence of 180 days in jail for each count, but suspended 130 days of that time.

Pearce must serve one day in jail for each count and five days of inmate labor detail in lieu of 29 days of jail time, according to a copy of the Payette County judgments.

Another 20 days of jail time are discretionary time that could be imposed if he were to violate his probation.

The judge granted Pearce a withheld judgment, meaning if he is compliant with his probation he could eventually go back before the judge and ask to have to convictions dismissed from his record.

The animal cruelty investigation began after the Payette County Sheriff’s Office found the horses dead on his property.

horse dead thirst statesman 2
Pictured here is the empty water trough. | Courtesy Lisa R. Holt

The four horses were found dead near an empty water trough in Payette in July 2018. He told investigators that he had left a hose running in the 1,000-gallon trough, and police found evidence that it was inadvertently shut off by another party, according to previous reports.

However, law enforcement previously said Pearce was negligent for not checking on the animals. The horses were found in a pasture near Hurd Lane, just south of Northeast 10th Avenue.

Pearce must also pay $5,000 in fines, but $4,000 of that was suspended by the judge. Any violation of his probation could result in the judge forbidding him from owning or caring for horses, according to a copy of the judgment.

A review hearing is set in Payette County for 2:30 p.m. April 24.

This article first appeared in the Idaho Statesman. It is used here with permission.