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

Monday, August 06, 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."

 

 


Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAKER, LARRY DEMARYES 2726 GLASS STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406 32 Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) BARNES, JOHN ARTHUR NICKAJACK CIR #85 POBOX7 JASPER, 37347 49 Hamilton County ASSAULT BELL, AMANDA NICOLE 3516 5TH AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37407 28 Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill - And Response

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Policeman’s Prayer

Every year, when the Law Enforcement Foundation of Greater Chattanooga holds its annual luncheon, it is one of the most heartening displays of what America really believes, down deep inside. The most prominent and influential leaders in the community – well over 1,000 -- gather to pay tribute and pledge their support to our heroes in blue who are unfaltering in their devotion, service ... (click for more)

State Volleyball Begins Wednesday In Murfreesboro

The ever-exciting state volleyball tournament will begin Wednesday morning in Murfreesboro with action scheduled for four different schools. The Boyd-Buchanan Lady Bucs are Chattanooga's entry in the Class A bracket while Red Bank and Signal Mountain will be competing in Class AA.  Baylor is entered in D-II Class AA. Boyd-Buchanan, 32-14, will face Loretto (31-12) in ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Defeats East Ridge 7-1 In Soccer Semi

The Boyd-Buchanan girls’ soccer team has already made history this season, but coach Todd Ledbetter’s Lady Bucs are hungry for more. After winning the school’s first district title last week, they moved a step closer to another championship with a Region 3-A/AA semifinal victory at home on Tuesday. Boyd-Buchanan, the 5-A/AA champion, defeated District 6 runner-up ... (click for more)