Cox Found Guilty in SAU Horse Case

Wendi Cox, the mother of a woman accused of stealing horses from the Southern Arkansas University (SAU) stables, has been found guilty for her role in the thefts and has been sentenced to serve 60 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections.

In November 2011, five SAU rodeo team Quarter Horses were taken from the Mulerider Stables at the university's Magnolia, Ark., campus. Four of the missing horses and the mutilated remains of the fifth horse were later recovered in McCurtain County, Okla. In December 2011, Arkansas State Police arrested Jaci Jackson and charged her with six counts felony theft of property in Arkansas, and three felony charges in Oklahoma in connection with the thefts. Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the Arkansas felony charges.

In June 2012, Cox, Jackson's mother, surrendered to McCurtain County law enforcement authorities, who charged her with cruelty to animals and knowingly concealing stolen property in connection with the death of the fifth horse, a 15-year-old sorrel gelding named Credit Card. That case remains pending.

In July 2012, law enforcement authorities in Columbia County, Ark., also charged Cox with four counts of theft of property over $5,000 and two counts of theft of property over $25,000 in connection with the thefts.

In February 2013, Cox’s attorney John F. Stroud III sought and was granted a change of venue from Columbia County to Union County, Ark., on grounds that Cox could not receive a fair trial in the county where SAU is located.

Stroud said that on March 28, an Arkansas jury found Cox guilty on four counts of theft of property over $5,000, two counts of theft of property over $1,000, and two counts of theft of property over $25,000 in connection with the SAU thefts. Cox was subsequently sentenced to serve 60 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Stroud said that under Arkansas law, Cox will be eligible for parole in 10 years.

SAU spokesman Aaron Street was unavailable for comment.

Cox may appeal the verdict, Stroud said.

“We’re looking at all her appeal options now,” he said

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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