Ohio Woman Accused of Cruelty Declines Plea Deal

The Ohio woman accused of maltreating more than 40 Arabian horses has rejected a plea agreement that would reduce the charges against her.

Robin Vess was charged with 42 counts of animal cruelty last month after animal welfare authorities from the Humane Society of Ottawa County removed 31allegedly maltreated horses from her Oak Harbor farm. Vess later transferred ownership of the surviving animals to an Arabian horse rescue group. They are now residing in foster homes.

Last week, Vess and attorney Mark Davis failed to respond to prosecutors' offer to dismiss the majority of the charges if Vess pleaded guilty to three charges.

"There was a deadline on the offer, and they let the deadline pass," said Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan.

The attempted plea agreement is the latest twist in the case. In February, Davis filed a motion asking the court to discard evidence in the case because authorities failed to obtain a warrant before removing the horses from Vess' barn. That motion is pending.

Neither Davis nor Christopher Marcinko, the Humane Society's special prosecutor in the case, were available for comment.

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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