Plea Entered in Michigan Horse Killing Case

A Michigan man accused of killing two horses because he suspected his wife and her trainer were engaged in an extramarital affair has pleaded no contest to three of the charges against him.

According to Ottawa County law enforcement authorities, Dennis Finkler and his wife were at the stable where they boarded their 12-year-old Quarter Horse on Feb. 11 when they engaged in a domestic argument involving the horse's trainer. Following the argument, Finkler allegedly entered the barn where his horse and the trainer's Palomino horse were kept and allegedly cut the horses' throats. The animals bled to death in their stalls.

Finkler was later charged with two felony counts of killing and torturing an animal, one count of malicious destruction of property, and one count of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

On May 23 Finkler appeared in Ottawa County Circuit Court before Judge Jon Hulsing and pleaded no contest to the two felony counts of killing and torturing an animal and one count of malicious destruction of property.

"The unlawful use of a motor vehicle charge is to be dropped," said Curtis Hegel, of the Ottawa County Circuit Court records division.

Finkler was unavailable for comment.

Sentencing in the case is slated for July 5, Hegel said.

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.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from Learn More