Kiefer Charged In Morton County - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Kiefer Charged In Morton County

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Morton County files criminal charges against William Kiefer late this afternoon.

Kiefer is charged with five counts of overworking, mistreating or abandoning animals.

All charges are class 'A' misdemeanors punishable by up to one year in prison and a $2-thousand dollar fine.

Judge Bruce Haskell signed off on the complaint stating Kiefer is to appear in court Tuesday, March 5th at 10am.

105 of horses or mules owned by Kiefer died in Morton County. 96 were found by authorities in late January dead on his ranch north of New Salem.

Another five were found dead Wednesday when road officials cleared snow at the ranch to bury the other horses that had died, and another four horses died after being taken to Triple-H Miniature Horse Rescue.

Morton County Assistant State's Attorney Jackson Lofgren says state law says you can't put more than five consecutive misdemeanor sentences back to back, so although 105 horsed died, Kiefer is charged with only five offenses.

"We've had cases here and there were maybe an animal or two has passed away but to have almost 100 die in a few months is something I don't think anyone in ND has had to deal with," Jackson Lofgren said.

Kiefer was also charged Wednesday in Burleigh county with four charges of animal neglect. 

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