Three to be Sentenced in Nevada Wild-Horse Killings

According to an Associated Press report, two men charged in the killing of 34 wild horses in the hills east of Reno, Nev., pleaded no contest Jan. 7 to single gross misdemeanor counts, and a third defendant pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Sentencing was set for Feb.11.

The 1998 case prompted international outrage and led to less-than-honorable military discharges for two of the men.

The report stated that two former Marine lance corporals, Scott Brendle and Darien Brock, pleaded no contest to gross misdemeanor counts of killing or maiming an animal. The two men could face up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,000.

The third individual, Anthony Merlino, admitted that he shot one injured horse to put it out of its misery, and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of disturbing the peace. Merlino, a construction worker, faces up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Officials said that individuals and organizations internationally are urging for a harsher penalties.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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