Judge Denies Ohio Woman's New Trial Bid

Former Ohio Arabian horse trainer Robin Vess, who was found guilty on multiple animal cruelty charges in April, has lost her bid for a retrial.

Animal welfare authorities charged Vess with 42 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty in February after they discovered 37 animals living in filth without food or water on her Oak Harbor farm. One horse was found dead, another five were euthanized at the scene. The remaining 31 horses were removed from the farm. Vess later surrendered the surviving animals to the Arabian Rescue Mission/Arabian Rescue Midwest. The animals have since been placed in new homes or with former owners or breeders.

In April a jury found Vess guilty of all 42 charges. Her attorney, Mark Davis, later sought a new trial on grounds that post-trial information indicated one witness in the case was biased against Vess.

On Wednesday, Ottawa County Municipal Court Judge Frederick Hany denied Davis' motion for a new trial on grounds that Davis failed to prove Vess was unavoidably prevented from obtaining the information before jury trial and that the information would have changed the outcome of the trial.

Davis was unavailable for comment.

The denial of the new trial is the latest twist in the long running case. In March Vess rejected a plea deal that would have dismissed the majority of the charges against her if she agreed to plead guilty to three of the charges. In February Davis asked the court to discard evidence in the case because authorities failed to obtain a warrant before removing the horses from Vess' barn. That motion was later declined on grounds that Humane Society personnel entered the property with Vess' consent.

Vess is slated to appear in Ottawa County Municipal Court on Sept. 24 for sentencing.

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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