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."

 

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BARNETTE, VERANDA MESHELL  3856 CONAHANEY TRAIL CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 50 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF --- BEAMON, JOHN EARNEST  298 W 37TH STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37410  Age at Arrest: 39 years old Arresting Agency: East Ridge DISORDERLY ... (click for more)

Brandon Robinson Captured A Day After Fleeing From Moccasin Bend

A man who fled from police custody while at Moccasin Bend Mental Hospital has been caught by the Grundy County Sheriff's Office. Brandon Robinson, 33, who fled the premises of Moccasin Bend on Saturday.  He was on a law enforcement hold out of Bedford County with the Shelbyville Police Department.  (click for more)

Make America Good Again

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Jerika’s Last Dance

There is a horrifying disease called spinal muscular atrophy type 2 that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. What happens is the nerve cells in a person’s brain stem and spinal cord slowly die and, without the ability to voluntarily control your muscles, your body withers away in one of the most painful ways you can imagine. Jerika Bolen, age 14, can’t stand it any longer, nor ... (click for more)

Dunbar Promoted To Head Wrestling Job At Ooltewah

J.D. Dunbar had been promoted to head wrestling coach at Ooltewah High School. Dunbar, an assistant with the Owls’ mat program since 2012, becomes a head coach for the first time at the high school level. He replaces Bryant Blackmon, who recently resigned. The 36-year-old Dunbar is also the school’s strength and conditioning coach and assistant head football coach on ... (click for more)

Another Big Week For Chattanooga Football Club

More than 10,000 fans gathered at Finley Stadium last Saturday to see a 5-3 penalty kick win over Miami United.   CFC keeper Gregga Hartley made a save and scored the winning penalty kick, helping his team to advance to the national semifinals on Saturday.  They will host Sonoma County Sol at 7:30 in the comfy confines of "Fort Finley"  Chattanooga is the top ... (click for more)