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Monday, Mar 31, 2003County: Westmoreland
Defendant/Suspect: Terry Painter
A farmer and former township official accused of killing 20 horses by feeding them hay infected with botulism can have his remaining 30 horses back, a judge ruled.
Terry Painter, a former North Huntington Township commissioner, can take custody of all healthy horses and must be given the addresses of any horses that are too sick to move, said Westmoreland County Judge William Ober said Monday.
Officials took Painter's horses in April and charged him with cruelty to animals after the animals died from eating the contaminated hay on his Westmoreland County farm. Painter maintained he didn't know the hay was bad.
He is scheduled to go to trial on the summary violations later this month.
Painter's attorney, John Bumbaugh, said his client needed the horses back to make a living.
"These are thoroughbred race horses, your honor, not a barnyard pet. This is not a case where a lady has 60 cats in her house," Bumbaugh said.
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