Accused SAU Horse Thief Gets Change of Trial Venue

A woman accused of taking part in the theft of horses from Southern Arkansas University (SAU) has won a change of venue for her trial on the charges.

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, Jackson's mother, Wendi Cox, 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. 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.

On Feb. 26, a spokesman for the Columbia County Prosecuting Attorney's office said that a Columbia County judge granted a change of venue request from Cox's lawyer John F. Stroud III. Stroud sought the venue change on grounds that Cox could not receive a fair trial in Magnolia, where SAU is located, the spokesman said.

Stroud was unavailable for comment.

Cox trial is set for March 26-28 in El Dorado, Ark., the spokesman said.

The case against Jackson also remains pending.

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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