Maryland Horse Abuse Trial Set for April 3

A Sharpsburg, Md., woman facing multiple animal abuse, neglect, and aggravated animal cruelty charges will plead her case before a jury at 1 p.m. on Monday April 3, according to Joseph Michael, Deputy State's Attorney for Washington County, Md. No witnesses are needed for the proceeding, Michael said.

Barbara Reinken, whose horses were seized by Washington County Humane Society officials on her property in December, was granted a trial by jury after she petitioned the Washington County District Court in mid-March for a transfer of her case to the Washington County Circuit for a jury trial. Her case was originally slated for a bench trial on March 19.

A spokesperson for Reinken's attorney refused to comment on the case in general, or specifically why a jury trial was sought.

Reinken was charged with 72 misdemeanor counts of animal abuse or neglect and four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals on Dec. 22, 2006. If convicted, she faces multiple prison terms and fines.

Until the case is decided, more than 70 horses, including several pregnant mares, remain under the jurisdiction of the Humane Society of Washington County.

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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