Saturday, August 5, 2017

Colorado: Despite Penny Gingerich's own attorney saying her starved, skeletal horses gained weight after being rescued, sympathetic jury said she wasn't guilty of animal cruelty. The bumbling jury then fawned all over her and her attorney, James Cook, encouraging her to continue to neglect her animals.

COLROADO -- After deliberating for just an hour Friday, a jury panel found Penny Gingerich not guilty of all counts of animal cruelty.

Gingerich, 42, immediately broke into tears and emotion after hearing the jury's verdict. Family and friends also let out audible sighs of relief.

Gingerich was on trial for originally 64 counts of animal cruelty, which had been amended to 39 counts as of Friday after the Fremont County Sheriff's Office seized horses from her property Jan. 20.

In the hallway outside of the courtroom, Gingerich was greeted by all of the jurors who offered her hugs and handshakes. Gingerich in return said, "thank you" with tears in her eyes.

"No I can't, I just can't," Gingerich said, as she was asked if she could believe the outcome.

All the jurors also offered their congratulations to Gingerich's attorney James Cook for the case he presented.

In closing arguments Friday, Cook told the jurors that life caught up with Gingerich on the day and week the FCSO came out to her place and took her horses.

He asked the jurors if Gingerich and her husband Manny Gingerich raised her horses like a reasonable person should -- feeding them and watering when she can and feeding and watering them enough when she's called in to go to work.

Despite the District Attorney's office arguing everything Gingerich said during FCSO's investigation were excuses, Cook offered to the jurors a scenario many people face.

He told them a story of how he can run late for work from time to time. He said with getting children out the door and rushing to work, he has forgotten to feed his own dog.

"When I get home, I may feed her an extra helping, give her some human food and she's wagging her tail the whole time," he said, asking the jurors if forgetting to feed his dog on one occasion makes him guilty of animal cruelty.

"One incident, like the D.A. is describing is not deprivation of sustenance," Cook said.

Sorry James. But if you came and seized my dog, she would not gain 20% of her body weight in a month. These horses did not miss one meal because Penny and Manny were too busy with their own personal problems... these animals missed many, many meals.

He reminded jurors the skinniest horses were indeed the older ones, and that it would make sense if they gained weight after being seized because they were put in a pen and given all the food they could eat.

OK then, if you agree that TAKING PROPER CARE OF THEM resulted in weight gain, then your client PENNY GINGERICH WAS NOT TAKING PROPER CARE OF THEM. Duh.

And if Penny and Manny are supposed to be horse experts, why weren't these older horses on a feed plans that included mash and being fed separately from the other animals so they didn't eat their food? If there was NOTHING wrong, the horses would not have gained ANY weight at all.

Clearly, the jury in Fremont County was made up of morons or animal abusers.

After Friday's verdict, Gingerich said she just wants her horses back.

Cook indicated they will file a motion with the court in the next couple of weeks to get those horses returned.

He said in a case like Gingerich's, the owner is supposed to have her property returned to her; however, it won't be easy.

He said when the horses were initially seized, Gingerich was required to pay to have her horses held at the equine center.

At first, this was about $21,000 and after part of the horses were returned to Gingerich, it still would have cost her about $11,000 a month.

"Penny (Gingerich) could not afford that," Cook said.

He said the remaining horses at the Colorado Humane Society's facility have been adopted off from what he's been told. He also said they are not really sure where the horses are at this time.

He said, with his motion, he will argue that the horses should have never been adopted off while the case was still ongoing.

I don't know whether these horses were merely on 
the property or part of the cruelty case.

He said they will ask for the horses back and money lost since they were seized.

When asked if Gingerich had anything else to comment to media, she simply stated, "Not guilty."

Not guilty doesn't mean innocent. 

Remember OJ? He was found not guilty. Remember Casey Anthony? She was found not guilty. It merely means the state wasn't able to present enough evidence for a clearly biased jury to find in their favor. Obviously the jurors fawning all over Penny and James tells you that they were biased from Day One.

On the other hand... it is entirely possible that the case was a bust from the get-go. The issues I have with it are: they seized a bunch of animals that weren't part of the case and had to return them, the photos available from local media don't show horses in emaciated condition, local media didn't have any testimony posted (that I could find) of veterinarians who ordered the seizure of the animals, no before-after photos of the animals that gained weight. It mentions in the article that even her defense attorney admitted that several of the horses gained weight after being seized so clearly there was some justification of taking them but the lack of information... we'll never know.

(The Daily Record - August 4, 2017)