EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSDEAD HORSES UPDATE
from Eyewitness News Online
Roane County Magistrate Gives County Control Of Horses In Animal Cruelty Case
Reported by: Bethany Simmons
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Also Contributing: Kallie Cart, Bob Aaron
Reported: Jan. 23, 2013 7:13 AM EST
Updated: Feb. 6, 2013 9:22 AM EST
Reedy , Roane County , West Virginia
A Roane County magistrate on Tuesday gave the county control of the surviving horses in an animal cruelty case.
Magistrate Ron White gave the county control of the horses during a civil hearing for Tory Morgan, who was charged with animal cruelty after more than a dozen dead horses were found on her Roane County farm last month.
About 20 horses were found still alive, and a deputy testified Tuesday that 10 of those horses were severely underweight. Officials wanted control of the horses so they could adopt them out.
A civil hearing began Tuesday for a woman charged with animal cruelty after more than a dozen dead horses were found on her Roane County farm last month.
Tory Morgan wanted a delayed hearing and told the judge she could not obtain papers showing she bought feed for the animals.
Lt. Jeff Smith of the Roane County Sheriff's Department testified on Tuesday that little feed was available for the horses and that they could not reach the hay bales that were in the adjacent field. The deputy also testified that 10 of the surviving horses were severely underweight.
One of the horses was found dead inside the barn near the camper where Morgan lived.
A prosecutor argued Tuesday that one horse drowned in 6 inches of water and that there was no excuse for that to have happened.
Meanwhile, the state wants the ability to adopt out horses unless Morgan posts $400 a day for care while the legal case continues.
Depending on the magistrate's decision, Morgan will have five days to post the bond or officials can begin disposing of the animals.
A Roane County woman is being sought on animal cruelty charges after more than a dozen dead horses were found on her farm.
A Jackson County circuit judge issued an arrest warrant Thursday for 41-year-old Tory Morgan. The warrant charges her with 36 counts of animal cruelty.
Media outlets report law enforcement officials had obtained a warrant to search the property near Reedy after receiving complaints last week.
Roane County Prosecutor Josh Downey said 14 horses were found dead and 20 others were severely malnourished. Two other horses couldn't be accounted for.
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Deputies expect to prepare and file criminal charges against the owner of the 20 horses that were seized after 22 others were found dead on a Roane County property earlier this week.
The seized animals, some grossly underweight, are being held in quarantine because they entered the state from Pennsylvania without proper paperwork.
The horses were taken after the discovery of the bodies of 16 horses on a farm in Reedy. Deputies said the owner claimed six others had been shot and put down, but said she had been feeding the animals regularly.
Deputies said they found little feed or hay available to the horses, although there were half a dozen large bales out of the horses' reach, across a fence and a creek.
Meanwhile, deputies also are completing a separate civil process to seize the horses that were taken with a search warrant.
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