William Kiefer Gets 6 Months for Horse Deaths - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

William Kiefer Gets 6 Months for Horse Deaths

Bismarck, ND -

11 months after authorities found more than one hundred dead horses in Burleigh and Morton County, the owner William Kiefer, is sentenced for the crimes. Kiefer did not appear in court for his sentencing, nor has he for any of the hearings scheduled in this case.

However, the Fargo man will be reporting to jail soon.

Judge Thomas Schneider sentenced Kiefer to 6 months in jail.

Kiefer previously pleaded guilty to nine counts of animal abuse, which are class A misdemeanor crimes.

Authorities found more than 100 dead horses on his property in Burleigh and Morton Counties in January 2013.

Morton County prosecutor, Gabrielle Goter says Kiefer continually has represented himself as a victim in this case.

"He was trying to save these animals, etc. However, he was actively engaged in buying those animals. It probably did get out of hand the problem is he was promoting it himself as opposed to people taking advantage of him," says Goter.

Kiefers' attorney says Kiefer got overwhelmed, he didn't intentionally neglect the animals. But Judge Thomas Schneider says Kiefer could have easily asked for help.

As part of the sentence Kiefer will not be able to own livestock for the two years he's on probation.

"We know then if he does not own or possess any livestock there will not be any other horse that is going to starve because of him," says Morton County Sheriff Dave Shipman.

He will also have to pay $1500 to the Humane Society or Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue - two agencies that stepped in to rescue the remaining horses, that were starving and in horrible condition. Some that couldn't be nursed back to health.

Goter says, "a lot of people were involved in the operation of removing the operation and caring for the ones in really poor shape. And Triple H bore the brunt of that."

This case happened before North Dakota lawmakers made changes to the state's animal cruelty law.

Goter says it's an example of why harsher penalties are needed for those who commit crimes against animals.

Kiefer has until January 9th to start his sentence, the Sheriff will decide if Kiefer will serve the time in jail or on electronic monitoring.

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