SOMERVILLE, TN – Circuit Judge Weber McCraw ruled today in West Tennessee court proceedings that Big Lickers Floyd and Beverly Sherman horses seized in the infamous raid on the Jackie McConnell Stables and that have been in the custody of The Humane Society of the United States will be returned to Shermans. The State of Tennessee may appeal the Court’s decision.
Attorney Houston Gordon of Covington, Tennessee,
argued that the Shermans
were not charged with any crime, and that the horses were unconstitutionally seized and could not be forfeited to the State. The State claimed that the horses should be forfeited to the State of Tennessee as a result of their being found sore in violation of animal cruelty statutes.
The Tennessee law on seizure of horses belonging to non-charged individuals such as owners Floyd and Beverly Sherman is not clear. The case may be appealed to provide further clarity. It also will be interesting to see if Owners in future cases will be charged of crimes along with the Trainer. An investigation is still ongoing in East Tennessee, and at some point the Larry Joe Wheelon case
may be brought before a Blount County Grand Jury, and Owners along with Wheelon may be indicted.
In July 2013, Jackie McConnell
pled guilty to a misdemeanor before Judge McCraw in July and was sentenced to a year of house arrest and fined $25,000.00.
In September 2012, McConnell was fined $75,000.00 when sentenced as a felon by U. S. District Judge Harry Mattice.