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."

 

 


Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

AUDIO: County Commission Meeting 3/20/2019

Latest Bradley County Arrest Report


Here are the latest grand jury no bills and true bills: No Bills: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER RYAN W 29 M 0 1 GS 1742314 CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY DEAN, TOMMIE LEWIS B 41 M 0 1 GS 1731276 DRIVING ON ... (click for more)

Click here for the latest Bradley County arrest report. (click for more)


Breaking News

Grand Jury No Bills And True Bills

Here are the latest grand jury no bills and true bills: No Bills: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER RYAN W 29 M 0 1 GS 1742314 CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY DEAN, TOMMIE LEWIS B 41 M 0 1 GS 1731276 DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE PITTS, ARRAS LAMAR B 22 M 0 1 GS 1737495 POSSESSION OF MARIHUANA SUMMEY, BRANDON CHASE W 21 M 0 1 GS 1733812 POSS. OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE True Bills: ADAMS, CHRISTOPHER ... (click for more)

AUDIO: County Commission Meeting 3/20/2019

Opinion

Chivalry Is Not Dead

On the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 26, I was driving up Lookout Mountain taking my mother home. My 2-year-old granddaughter was also along for the ride. Halfway up Ochs Highway in the middle of a blind curve, at rush hour, my car simply died. Smoke poured out from under the hood, and we were completely stranded. There was a long line of cars stuck behind us unable to go around because ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What’s Become Of Roy?

Today I must begin by telling my Chattanoogan.com readers how humbled and touched I am by the dozens of emails I have received in recent weeks, all concerning my daily disappearance from this website. I like to think my daily musings may, in some way, have a ripple effect on some of the people, the places, and the things that intrigue me. I believe I have rarely sought popularity, ... (click for more)

Sports

March Madness Created A Lifetime of Memories For Former UTC Coach McCarthy

This is the third of four March Madness stories involving those with Chattanooga ties. When former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga basketball coach Mack McCarthy reflects back on his 32-year college basketball coaching career, many of his most vivid memories – both good and bad – had the common denominator of occurring in Birmingham, Alabama. McCarthy experienced the ... (click for more)

Prep Baseball: Ooltewah Shuts Out Walker Valley Again, 4-0

Ooltewah’s strong pitching continued into the second game of a home-and-home series with Walker Valley on Tuesday night. Isaac Hughes dominated the Mustangs through five innings, allowing just one hit – a leadoff single to center by catcher Dylan Calfee in the third inning – and helped the Owls post a 4-0 victory at Walker Valley. Hughes gave way to reliever Jax Howard in ... (click for more)