Judge Orders Defendant To Write Newspaper Article About Horse Soring; Mays Released After Serving 4 Months

Monday, August 6, 2012

Federal Judge Sandy Mattice on Monday morning ordered a man caught horse "soring" to write a newspaper article about the topic as part of his probation.

Judge Mattice directed John Mays to "describe the different types and the immediate and long-term effects it brings on the horses."

He said he also should report "who seeks out" the practice of applying caustic agents and other methods to the feet of Tennessee Walking Horses so they will walk with an exaggerated gait at horse shows - mainly held at Shelbyville, Tn.

The judge said Mays should tell "how widespread" a practice is horse soring.

Mays was arrested along with several others, including Jackie McConnell - West Tennessee horse trainer who was caught abusing a horse on a secretly-taped video that got widespread publicity.

Mays served almost four months in jail, though it was mainly because he earlier violated the terms of his probation. His sentencing range was zero-6 months. Prosecutors had recommended a "downward departure" for him as part of his cooperation in the case.

Judge Mattice allowed him to be released on time served. He lives in Mississippi and was awaiting a ride home from his aunt, who did not arrive in time for the sentencing. Mays will be on probation for a year.

Mays had little to say at the hearing. Asked by Judge Mattice if he was surprised to be caught up in such a situation, he said, "It kind of surprised me too. I never thought it would be like this." Judge Mattice said, "That's an understatement."

Prosecutor Steve Neff noted that the federal Horse Protection Act has been on the books since 1970, but no one had been charged under it until a year and a half ago.

He said that prosecution out of Chattanooga "has created a domino effect in all sorts of avenues."

Due to national publicity, he said there had been cries for reform of the walking horse industry, "and hopefully it will continue."

Prosecutor Neff said he had heard from numerous horse lovers on the topic, and "I'm sure the court has too."

Judge Mattice said, "I've heard from hundreds, if not thousands, of people. I hope they understand that the court doesn't make the laws. That happens in the large building with the dome on it."

He and prosecutor Neff both noted that the current federal horse protection law carries little prison time.

But they said that new attention to the law has brought a major focus on treatment of horses and "hopefully will start creating a change in the culture."

 

 


Corker Condemns North Korean Missile Launch

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned North Korea’s illicit missile launch and called for a more proactive U.S. approach to deal with the growing North Korean nuclear threat. The Senate is expected to debate and pass the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (Gardner-Menendez) this week.     ... (click for more)

TBI Case Leads To Charges For Woman In Death Of Whitwell Boy

A joint investigation by special agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Whitwell Police Department has resulted in charges for a Whitwell woman in connection to the death of her boyfriend’s son. At the request of 12 th  District Attorney J. Michael Taylor, TBI apecial agents began investigating the death of six-year-old Lucas Michael Dillon on March 29, ... (click for more)

The City I Used To Know

“They Dead”, the innocent young voice said as tears began streaming from my eyes.  Foolishness that didn’t involve him snatched away his childhood in the blink of an eye.  Why?  Why has my city become known more for gangs and violence than the River Front, Lookout Mountain, and a fun little theme park?  What happened to hot summers at Lake Winnie, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Stick Of Dynamite

You may have seen the Tennessee Legislature jumped on the bandwagon to send “an atomic bomb” to Washington this week. The “bomb” makes Tennessee the fifth state to adopt a Convention of the States Project that will hopefully limit the power and the jurisdiction of federal government. The official wording is “to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power ... (click for more)

Red Bank Beats Pigeon Forge For A-AA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Red Bank Lions finally reached the mountain top as far as high school wrestling is concerned. The Lions had finished second to Bradley in the State Duals back in 1995 and it had been 16 years since the Lions had been involved, but they put an exclamation point on a strong dual-meet season by winning the Class A-AA title here at Williamson County Agricultural ... (click for more)

Bradley Whips Soddy Daisy For AAA State Duals Title

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – The Bradley Bears have won more state duals titles than anyone and they added another one after going four years without being in the championship round. It’s been a remarkable season for the Bears, who beat region-rival Soddy Daisy by a 52-21 margin for their latest state title. Saturday night’s   match was never really close as the Bears had a ... (click for more)