Tennessee Grand Jury Indicts Former Tennessee Walking Horse Trainer Jackie McConnell

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Fayette County, Tn., Grand Jury has indicted horse trainer Jackie McConnell and two co-defendants on 38 counts of animal cruelty for illegally soring and torturing horses.

The indictments followed a Humane Society of the United States undercover investigation in 2011.

McConnell was indicted on 22 counts of animal cruelty in Fayette County, for charges stemming from alleged soring of Tennessee Walking Horses.

McConnell is already serving three years of probation and has been fined $75,000 for his federal felony conviction in Chattanooga.

“We commend District Attorney General Mike Dunavant and Assistant District Attorney General Mark Davidson for filing criminal charges against McConnell and his co-defendants —the first case of its kind in Tennessee,” Keith Dane, director of equine protection for The HSUS. “Unfortunately, the owners who placed their horses in McConnell’s training stables have not expressed the slightest regret or remorse for the torture these animals endured, and still need to be held accountable.”

McConnell’s co-defendants in the federal case, John Mays and Jeff Dockery were also indicted. Mays was charged with 13-counts and Dockery with three-counts. Both men pleaded guilty to lesser charges in Federal Court for their role in the conspiracy to violate the Horse Protection Act.

Since 2011, the HSUS has assisted the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of the Inspector General, and the Tennessee 25th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office in prosecuting the offenders and assisting in the rescue of horses from McConnell’s training operation.

 In March 2012, eight horses were seized from McConnell’s stable following the execution of a search and seizure warrant. At the state’s request, the HSUS has been providing the horses with intensive rehabilitative care for the past year and will continue to do so.

The indictment is available here.

 


Gore Charged In Case Where Walden Man Said He Was Confronted In His Back Yard By Man With A Gun

Authorities have charged an East Ridge man in a case in which a Walden man said he was confronted in his back yard by a masked man with a gun. ' In the incident on Tuesday, Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 1500 block of East Brow Road to investigate a report of an aggravated assault.     Upon arriving, deputies were told ... (click for more)

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest no bills and true bills from the Hamilton County Grand Jury: No Bills: ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 1 GS 1570989 DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE ANDERSON, GLORIA LORENE B 31 F 0 2 GS 1570990 LIGHT LAW VIOLATION ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 1 GS 1182477 VIOLATION OF REGISTRATION LAW ARD, KEVIN W 32 M 0 2 GS 1182478 FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAW ARD, KEVIN ... (click for more)

CVB Should Share Financials With The Home Folks

The recent debate over the Convention and Visitor's Bureau's funding and budget has gotten ugly. A Hamilton County commissioner has asked questions and made comments about the CVB. The director of the CVB has organized a campaign to dismiss the commissioner's questions and comments. The children on the playground are choosing sides and nothing useful seems to be happening. It's ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ed Chief ‘Embarrassed’

At the start of the school year in September, Tennessee’s Commissioner of Education Dr. Candice McQueen held an “educational summit” with state legislators from embattled Hamilton County. The entire “summit” took a prescribed 90 minutes and was such a dog-and-pony show her strongest statement was, "Create your plan around the right vision, have some metrics and align to the right ... (click for more)

Legendary Howard Coach Henry Bowles Dies At 80

Legendary Howard High Coach Henry Wesley Bowles, Sr., has died at the age of 80 after a lengthy illness. Coach Bowles was born in Chattanooga on Oct. 14, 1936. He graduated from Howard High School, class of 1955, and received his bachelor of arts degree from Lane College, Jackson, Tn. While at Lane College, he was student council president, business manager and Who’s Who among ... (click for more)

Silverdale Girls Claim District 5-A Championship

The face and philosophy might have changed, but the expectations for the Silverdale Baptist Academy girls’ basketball team remained the same. Heading into the season with five seniors and a first-year, first-time head coach in Victor Underwood, the Lady Seahawks had their sights set on winning a District 5-A championship. Wednesday night, they achieved that goal with ... (click for more)