MARYVILLE, TN – Many people helped bring Larry Joe Wheelon and his alleged horse soring torturing accomplices to justice in Blount County. In a case filled with heroes, Blount County SPCA members are at the top of the list.
When asked about testifying before the Blount County Grand Jury on Monday, SPCA Investigative Coordinator Kellie Bachman said, “All I did was present the evidence I had from the search warrant. It was physical and graphic. There was no speculation on any of this.”
Bachman said, “It was therapeutic for me. I have known the truth for so long and not been able to tell it. To be able to sit in front of the grand jury and give them the truth, it lifted the weight off of my shoulders. I think the evidence is overwhelming, and they did too.”
The Grand Jury returned an 18 count indictment including conspiracy counts charging Larry Joe Wheelon and three others in violating Tennessee’s aggravated animal cruelty laws..
Bachman said it caused her a lot of “heartache” for her having to participate in returning the Horses which had been allegedly sored and abused back to Larry Wheelon’s customers after Wheelon walked free from a Probable Cause hearing in August 2013.
Following General Sessions Judge Robert Headrick dismissing the charges against Wheelon at that Hearing due to a technicality, it appeared that District Attorney General Mike Flynnsaid the “case was over” and would not be going forward.
Concerned citizens in Maryville led by the Blount County SPCA’s Crystal Wallace rallied and started a Petition Drive to “encourage” D. A. Flynn to take the case before a Blount County Grand Jury.
- Petitioned The Governor of TN
Blount County, TN District Attorney General Mike Flynn”
To take all 4 cases regarding Larry Wheelon to the Grand Jury
This is a landmark case. The soring of horses in Tennessee is an illegal practice according to TCA code 39-14-217. We urge you to let this case proceed to the Grand Jury.
Approximately 2,000 persons from all across the United States signed the Petition.
Flynn replaced Ellen Berez with Kenlin Foster as lead counsel, and he sought expert prosecutorial advice from experienced hands. The case moved forward and was presented this past Monday to the Blount County Grand Jury by former Drug Enforcement Administration officer Kellie Bachman as the lead witness.
Larry Wheelon and his accomplices are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.