UPDATE: Thursday, September 20, 2012
A Sumner County jury has found Herb Jones Guilty on one count of animal cruelty, but could not reach a verdict on the second charge.
The jury reached the verdict shortly after noon Thursday on the charge of animal cruelty specifically regarding Jones' herd of cattle that the Sumner County Sheriff says he found severely neglected back in July.
The second count of animal cruelty relating to two sheep that were also on the property, was dismissed after the jury could not reach a decision.
The Jones family is upset with the verdict and says they plan to appeal.
"This just happened to be an issue where the pond dried up," said Dave Jones, Herb Jones' son. "I testified why the pond dried up so fast because somebody didn't dig it out like they said they did."
Jones countered that, as soon as he discovered that his pond had dried up, he began hauling water to the animals every day.
"It wasn't that somebody was just not caring for these animals," Dave Jones said. "We wouldn't spend this kind of money and go through all of this if we didn't care."
Herb Jones is scheduled for sentencing on October 4. Since he has no criminal history, he will likely face probation time.
UPDATE: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
The animal cruelty case against Herb Jones will continue Thursday morning with closing statements from the prosecution and defense. The final two witnesses to testify on Wednesday were Jones' sons, who told the jury how they often helped their father take care of the cattle herd.
The jury will begin deliberations after closing statements.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
A rural Oxford man is on trial for two counts of animal cruelty. Herb Jones is fighting the charges, filed by Sumner County Attorney Evan Watson.
Jones owns approximately 18 head of cattle and was grazing them on property near 30th and River Rd. over the summer when neighbors began calling 911 to report some of the cattle were loose on multiple occasions.
Sheriff Darren Chambers told KAKE News back in July that the animals appeared to be severely emaciated, so he found a farmer to take the cows and nurse them back to health.
But Herb Jones disputes that his animals were in any danger and that he is innocent of animal cruelty.
Veterinarian Dr. Dan Hefling testified that he helped observe the animals after responding to a call for help from the sheriff.
"They were very thin," Hefling testified. "Bones were protruding. They appeared to be thirsty. "Their stomachs were pot-bellied which suggests they had parasites."
Hefling said many of the 17 cows didn't have any muscle on them at all and that their bodies had been digesting their muscle due to lack of nurtrient. He estimated that the cows had been malnourished for as long as two months.
Jones, meanwhile, contends that he did not know that a water pond on the pasture had dried up since he had last been there a week prior.
Prosecution witnesses are also telling the jury that the dried up corn stalks that Jones was feeding the animals had no nutritional value.
The jury of six will likely get the case sometime today or tomorrow.