Man guilty of animal cruelty after 10 horses found dead sentenced

Posted at 8:39 AM, Nov 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-18 19:31:38-05

MAGNA, Utah - A man found guilty of animal cruelty after 10 horses were found dead in his Magna pasture has been sentenced to jail time, which was suspended, a fine and community service Wednesday.

Shamus Haws was found guilty in September on four out of 11 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty.

That was after 10 horses he owned were found dead due to dehydration in 2014.

He said it was all a big misunderstanding and a tragic mistake.

His attorney said he was a life-long horse trainer with a sterling reputation who had about 250 horses at the time.

Haws said he had a contract employee who was supposed to water the horses in the Magna field but for whatever reason, that didn't happen and the animals died.

After an exhaustive misdemeanor trial, the judge said it simply would not be right to sentence Haws to jail Wednesday.

She did order him to pay a fine and to 50 hours of community service.

But Haws' attorney says her client has already paid a significant price for this accident and they want his record wiped clean.

Haws and his attorney will be appealing the guilty verdicts and will begin all over again with a trial in district court sometime next year.