Blount County Grand Jury Indicts Wheelon, 3 Others On Charges Of Aggravated Animal Cruelty

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Blount County, Tn., grand jury has indicted four people suspected of animal cruelty by “soring” Tennessee walking horses by applying acid or other caustic substances to force them to perform the high-stepping “Big Lick” gait. 

The grand jury indicted Maryville horse trainer Larry Joe Wheelon, Randall Stacy Gunter of Louisville, Tn., Brandon Lunsford of Walland, Tn.

, and farrier Blake Tanner Primm of Sevierville, Tn., on 17 counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. 

Leighann McCollum, Tennessee state director for The Humane Society of the United States, said: “Anyone complicit in the depraved practice of soring should be held accountable - including owners who may have knowingly put their horses in the hands of abusers. We are grateful for the persistence of the authorities in Blount County on this case, and we encourage them to continue aggressively investigating anyone who participated in these cruel and illegal practices.”

The arrest warrants allege that Gunter and Lunsford worked with horses who had suffered serious bodily injuries, were discovered to have had chemicals and other foreign substances applied to their legs, and responded in pain when their legs were palpated by veterinarians.

Wheelon, Gunter and Lunsford were arrested in April on felony animal cruelty charges stemming from suspicions of soring. The HSUS, Blount County SPCA and Horse Haven of Tennessee assisted authorities with the rescue of 19 horses from the training barn used by Wheelon.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAGGETT, EMILY MICHELLE 14431 DAYTON PIKE SALE CREEK, 37373 22 Hamilton County PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE BUTLER, NATASHA COLLEEN 816 ROANOKE AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 30 Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF CAMPBELL, CHRISTOPHER ... (click for more)

Appeals Court Rules Against WWTA In Lawsuit Brought By Apartment Complex Over $8 Monthly Charges To Units

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of an apartment complex that sued the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Authority (WWTA) over an $8 monthly charge per apartment unit for preparing private service laterals. The court overturned a granting of summary judgment in favor of WWTA by former Judge Jackie Bolton. The appeals court said American Heritage Apartments, ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What About The Ashes?

I attended my fifth funeral in the month of January the other day and, while I wish a lot of my friends would hang around a little longer, I was amused by the conversation in the pew before the service began. The question was “ … then what do you do with the ashes?” More and more people are being cremated and asking their loved ones to scatter their ashes -- more properly called ... (click for more)

Baylor, Father Ryan Advance to D-II Wrestling Finals

FRANKLIN - Two old rivals meet for the TSSAA D-II state duals title Saturday night as defending state champion Baylor (24-1) take on Father Ryan (22-3) at 8 p.m. EST here at the Williamson County Ag & Expo Center. All three division championships will be held at the same time - D-II, D-I A-AA and D-I AAA. Baylor’s lone dual loss is to Archer (Ga.) and Ryan’s losses ... (click for more)

Cleveland Slips By Walker Valley In Battle Of Top District Teams

The Cleveland Blue Raiders defeated Walker Valley 49-41 Friday night at Cleveland Middle School in a battle between two Bradley County high schools to stay in a tight race at the top of the District 5-AAA standings.   The Blue Raiders jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead over the Mustangs and stayed slightly ahead for the rest of the game. Cleveland fended off a strong ... (click for more)