More Charges in Georgia for Two South Carolina Horse Abuse Defendants

A mother and son each charged with more than 20 counts of ill treatment of animals in South Carolina are facing extradition to Georgia where similar counts have been filed against the pair.

Hazelene E. Trexler, 70, and her son Terry A. Trexler, 44, each face 30 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty by starvation charges in Jefferson County, Ga., according to Jimmy L. Kitchens, county code enforcement officer for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.

According to Kitchens, Jefferson County issued 61 warrants earlier this month for the pair, stemming from the alleged abuse of 60 malnourished horses on property they leased in Southeast Georgia.



Some of the Trexler horses.

"Hazelene was charged with 30 counts because she claimed ownership of the horses," Kitchens said. "Terry was charged with 30 counts because he was the caretaker of the horses."

Terry Trexler is also charged with one count of allowing an animal to run at large, according to Kitchens. Each animal cruelty charge carries penalties of up to $1,000 or up to one-year incarceration, according to Kitchens.

The animals, which Kitchens said appear to have been abandoned in January, are in the custody of the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

According to Kitchens, Georgia officials are working with counterparts in South Carolina to effect the extradition of Hazelene and Terry Trexler to Georgia to face charges there.

The Georgia charges against the Trexlers came to light this week during an investigation of animal cruelty by the Humane Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HSPCA) in Richland County, S.C.

"One of our investigators was calling around and found there were warrants for them on similar charges," said Kelly Graham, director of public relations for HSPCA.

Last Monday the HSPCA sized 23 malnourished horses on property leased by the Trexlers. Subsequently, Hazelene Trexler and Terry Trexler were each charged with 23 counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. The following day investigators found five more horses on property owned by another of Hazelene's sons James Trexler. James, one of South Carolina's three assistant agriculture commissioners, is charged with five counts of misdemeanor cruelty, Graham said. He is free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond. Hazelene and Terry Trexler remain in the Richland County jail after failing to post $20,000 and $50,000 surety bonds, respectively.

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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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