COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Two commercial cattle operators were convicted of 120 counts of animal neglect by a Columbia County jury after a three-week trial.
One hundred and seventy cattle were seized from Jane Baum and William Holdner by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office in 2012, when veterinarians found many of the animals were severely underweight and suffering from serious illnesses.
On October 3, 2014, Holder was convicted of 16 counts of first-degree animal neglect and 79 counts of second-degree neglect, while Baum is convicted of one count of first-degree neglect, and 26 counts of second-degree neglect.
The two face up to a year in jail and a $6,250 fine for each count of first-degree neglect, and six months in jail and a $2,500 fine for each count of second-degree neglect.
The Oregon Humane Society (OHS) said the jury’s unanimous vote marks the end of one of the “longest and most complex animal trials in the history of the Oregon Humane Society.”
“Columbia County and OHS cooperated closely for several years on this case, always determined to protect animals from inhumane treatment,” said Sharon Harmon, OHS executive director.
“The jury’s verdict leaves no doubt that owners who fail to provide food and medical care for their animals will face criminal penalties.”
The jury deliberated for five hours after hearing nine days of testimony from 15 prosecution witnesses and 10 defense witnesses.
“This is one of the largest and most complex animal cruelty cases to be prosecuted in Oregon,” said Deputy District Attorney Jake Kamins. “It’s the longest trial I have had, and this verdict is very gratifying.”