LEWISBURG, TN (c) – Marshall County Circuit Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr. today handed down a historic sentence to “Big Lick” supporter Ms. Sandra Darlene Wood for the crime of Animal Cruelty, to-wit – starving Tennessee Walking Horses that were seized from her farm on April 6, 2015.
- 45 days in jail,
- 11 months 29 days probation,
- Pay $4,134.00 restitution to Volunteer Equine Associates,
- Cannot own any horses during her probation,
- Officers may come and inspect Ms. Wood’s property at any time during her probation term.
“Big Lick” Supporter Sandra Darlene Wood – Convicted of Animal Cruelty – Sentenced to Jail Time in Middle Tennessee
CIRCUIT COURT SENTENCING JUDGMENT – MAY 18, 2016
Part of the “Big Lick” mantra is horses are livestock. People can do what they want to with them. For nigh on over 60+ years, the “Big Lick” crowd has tortured Tennessee Walking Horses to do the “Big Lick” for a 50 cent blue ribbon, in the name of family entertainment and for raising money for charity.
In pronouncing sentence on Ms. Sandra Darlene Wood, Marshall County Circuit Judge Durard said, “Animals are living breathing beings. They can feel pain – and they are treated differently in our code (law). You can’t make this decision in a vacuum. Had we had 8 counts of animal cruelty, rather than one, she would have been convicted on all 8 counts. They were all emaciated. The vet testified – she came up here without any notes – and she answered all questions. Ms. Wood stated she had $20 – $30 income after living expenses. How on earth are you going to maintain eight horses on $20-30 a month.”
Judge Durard said there were “warning shots” in June 2015, and Ms. Wood did not take corrective action.
The Court cited Ms. Wood’s prior criminal history involving felonies from 20 years ago in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Judge Durard said “she had problems writing checks and taking things that didn’t belong to her”.
Ms. Wood took the stand and told a long drawn out story of how she was the care giver for her grandson, and the enormous hardship it would cause if she were not at home to provide the child with emotional support.
Neither Prosecuting attorney Felicia Walkup or Judge Durard were buying it.
While cross-examining Ms. Wood, Ms Walkup read each of Ms. Wood’s felony convictions in Arkansas and Oklahoma, one by one.
Here Ms. Walkup questions VEC (Volunteer Equine Associates of Gallatin, Tennessee. Ms. Rupp regarding the condition of the eight emaciated horses when they were seized from Ms. Wood’s Marshall County property.
Public Defender Mr Bill Harold addresses the Court.
Public Defender Harold called Ms. Wood’s daughter-in-law, Ms. Lisa McClure, to testify on behalf of her mother-in-law Ms. Sandra Darlene Wood. Ms. McClure brought her young daughter to the courtroom to sit with her and Ms. Wood. The child appeared to be approximately 10 years old.
To illustrate the depth of Ms. Wood’s devotion to the culture of “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty, she twice appeared last October at Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty protests at MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) attempting to disrupt them. On one occasion, Ms Wood attempted to record the Citizens Campaign volunteers until the campaign organizer identified and confronted Ms Wood at which time she admitted she was the same person accused of Animal Cruelty for starving her Tennessee Walking Horses. Ms. Wood said she was going to get her horses back.
Ms. Sandra Darlene Wood – Testifying On May 18, 2016
The VEA (Volunteer Equine Associates) of Gallatin, Tennessee, worked with Marshall County Deputy Sheriff Tony Nichols (2nd from left), in rescuing the eight emaciated horses from Ms. Wood. One of the mares was pregnant, and she subsequently delivered a live foal.
The VEA Volunteers were obviously pleased on Wednesday with the Court’s sentencing of Ms. Wood.
Nephew Eugene says before the Citizens Campaign Against “Big Lick” Animal Cruelty raised the public awareness in Middle Tennessee in 2015 regarding the Animal Cruelty, that a conviction and sentence of a Big Lick supporter like Ms. Sandra Darlene Wood would have never occurred.