Posted: Dec 13, 2012 7:59 AM by Victoria Fregoso
BILLINGS - Former horse breeder James Leachman was sentenced in Yellowstone County Justice Court Wednesday. After seven days of testimony that wrapped up last week, a jury found Leachman guilty on five misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.
Leachman was sentenced to five consecutive years in jail, of that, he will spend 120 days behind bars because the judge suspended most of the sentence. He is also expected to pay $5,000 in fines.
Leachman owned more than 800 horses on the Crow Reservation. Five horses were injured and had to be put down or died. The deaths resulted from identification bands Leachamn placed on the horses legs, above the hoof.
Judge Larry Herman announced his decision after listening to closing statements by prosecuting attorney Rod Souza and James Leachman himself. Leachman dismissed his public defenders prior to today's sentencing.
Judge Herman based part of his decision on a statement Leachman made during testimony, that he would use the leg bands all over again. The judge also prohibited Leachman from owning any hoofed animals during the period of his sentence.
Leachman did file an appeal and bond was set at $5,000.