BILLINGS — A jury has acquitted a Montana man of six animal cruelty charges after prosecutors accused him of being responsible for the deaths of 15 horses found in a pasture.
The Billings Gazette reported on Monday that the Roosevelt County jury found Richard Dean Holen not guilty of one count of felony aggravated animal cruelty and five charges of misdemeanor cruelty to animals.
Charging documents say Holen, of Poplar, was charged in October after the owner of the horses, Kari Delagrave, told investigators she had entrusted the care of 49 of her horses to Holen.
Holen’s attorney, Layne Scheveck, argued that Delagrave had instead been the sole caretaker of the animals; Holen had simply allowed her to keep the horses on land he was leasing.
A Glasgow veterinarian says the horses most likely died from dehydration.