SAU Horse Theft, Killing Case to Proceed in Oklahoma

An Oklahoma judge has ruled that the case against a woman accused of stealing five horses belonging to the rodeo team at Southern Arkansas University (SAU) last year will go forward.

On Nov. 2, five Quarter Horses belonging to student members of the school's collegiate rodeo team were taken from the Mulerider Stables at the university's Magnolia, Ark., campus. A horse trailer and a variety of equestrian equipment also taken from the stables were recovered shortly after the incident. Four of the missing horses and the remains of the fifth horse were later recovered in McCurtain County, Okla.

Jaci Rae Jackson of McCurtain County, Okla., who was an SAU student and a rodeo team member at the time of the incident, was arrested and charged with six counts felony theft of property in Arkansas. Jackson pleaded not guilty to those Arkansas charges. Jackson was also charged in Oklahoma with three felonies connected to the SAU thefts including bringing stolen property into the state, knowingly concealing stolen property, and cruelty to animals.

McCurtain County District Attorney Mark Matloff said that on May 14 Jackson appeared in McCurtain County Court for a preliminary hearing on the charges against her there.

"We presented 18 witnesses and the judge ruled that there was enough evidence to allow the case to proceed," Matloff said.

Jackson's attorney, Richard E. Stout was unavailable for comment.

Jackson is slated to appear in McCurtain County court on June 4 for formal arraignment on the charges. She is expected to plead not guilty, Matloff said.

"Then a trial date will be set," 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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