published Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

Co-defendants in federal horse case get probation

  • photo
    Horse trainer Jackie McConnell, right, leaves the Joel W. Solomon Federal Courthouse downtown with his attorney Hugh Moore after a hearing in federal court in March, 2012. McConnel has been indicted for 52 counts of violations of the Horse Protection Act along with co-defendants Jeff Dockery, John Mays and Joseph Abernathy for allegedly participating in what is known as "horse-soring," an abusive practice which causes walking horses to lift their legs higher for shows.
    Photo by Doug Strickland /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Two men charged along with disgraced walking horse trainer Jackie McConnell received one-year probation each for their hand in horse abuse.

Joseph Abernathy, 30, and Jeff Dockery, 54, will serve probation and have to write an article on the practice of horse soring — using chemical or mechanical means to alter a horse's gait for advantage in competition.

U.S. District Judge Harry "Sandy" Mattice is asking prosecutors and attorneys for McConnell to explain why he should accept their plea agreement, as it requires him to give McConnell probation and no prison time.

For more see tomorrow's Times Free Press.

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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