Over 100 horses were abused, starved and killed in Burleigh and Morton Counties, North Dakota. On Tuesday, Dec. 31, South Central District Judge Tom Schneider sentenced the man responsible for all of those horses. William Kiefer, 63, had pleaded guilty back on August 2 for nine counts of a Class A misdemeanor – four in Burleigh and five in Morton Counties.
Finally, on Tuesday his sentence was announced by Schneider. He received a year in prison on each count, with six months suspended. However, Kiefer will serve the nine sentences at the same time with two years of supervised probation when he will be unable to keep or own livestock. Kiefer may serve his sentence of six months in jail or via electronic monitor. His sentence is slated to begin on Jan. 9, 2014.
The attorneys had come to a plea arrangement in the case and Schneider actually increased it by two months. According to the Bismarck Tribune, the judge “said the longer sentence was warranted, given the number of animals that died.”
Schneider said, “He could easily have reached out for help.”
Tuesday’s hearing was not the first attempt to pronounce sentence on Kiefer. It was the third sentencing hearing scheduled in the Kiefer case.
The attorneys agreed on the plea arrangement but quibbled especially about the conditions of probation. Kiefer will be unable to own any weapons and probation officers will be permitted to search both his home and his vehicle at any time. Schneider approved most of the conditions plus he required Kiefer to submit to a DNA test that, normally, is only ordered in felony cases.
Also read writer’s article of Dec. 7: Animal abuser William Kiefer pleads guilty and still not sentenced
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