Wednesday, December 21, 1988

Oklahoma: Jury find Marty Bates guilty of animal cruelty after he rode his horse to an exhausted death during an endurance race

OKLAHOMA -- A Claremore man Tuesday was fined $500 on a cruelty to animal charge stemming from the ill-fated June 1987 Catoosa Days endurance horse race.

Associate District Judge Edwin Carden followed a trial jury's recommendation in fining Marty Douglas Bates, 23, of Claremore, who gave notice he will appeal his felony conviction. The judge stayed the fine pending the appeal, a court spokesman said.

A seven-woman, five-man jury deliberated about an hour in November to convict Bates, the first participant in the race that left seven horses dead from heat exhaustion, to face a felony conviction. He could have received a maximum five-year prison term.

Defense attorney Robert Green asked the court to rule that Bates was convicted of a misdemeanor, not a felony, because jurors recommended only a fine. But Carden upheld the felony conviction.

District Attorney T. Jack Graves contended Bates' actions during the race constituted intentional animal cruelty to his Appaloosa horse.

Bates claimed he was only a participant in an athletic event.

Co-defendants Jody Marcella Trotter of Kiefer and Billy Andrew Coghill of Broken Arrow, who is accused of overdriving a black mare to her death, are awaiting separate trials.

William B. Schlunegar of Broken Arrow was acquitted in June after a jury deliberated for seven hours before reaching their verdict. It was believed that Schlunegar had shown more care and concern for his horse than the other riders.

Race promoter Bill McAnally, his wife Paula McAnally and another horseman, Johnnie Lee Meders, were fined and placed on probation after pleading no contest to misdemeanor animal cruelty charges in October 1987.


Jody Marcella Trotter entered a no-contest plea to two charges of animal cruelty involving the overriding of a two horses in the Catoosa Days endurance race.

Rogers County Associate District Judge Edwin Carden sentenced Trotter to a $750 fine plus court costs and ordered her to perform 50 hours of community service.

Billy Andrew Coghill pleaded no contest to a charge of animal cruelty. Rogers County Associate District Judge Edwin Carden fined Coghill $500 and gave him a one-year deferred sentence. His conviction will be cleared from the court record if he is convicted of no other law violations within the year.

(NewsOK - December 21, 1988)


Friday, December 2, 1988

Florida: Little girl, 6, recovering after being attacked by Nina Owen's pit bull

FLORIDA -- After spending one night in a hospital, a 6-year-old dog-bite victim went home on Thursday, the day the pit bull that attacked her was euthanized for rabies testing, police and hospital officials said.

Shannon Hunter, who lives north of Pompano Beach, was bitten on the right side of the face on Wednesday as she sat in a neighbor's apartment watching television, the Broward Sheriff's Office reported. She was admitted to North Broward Medical Center in Pompano Beach for treatment.

The 1-year-old pit bull dog, named Spuds, apparently attacked without warning, the Sheriff's Office said.

The owner, Nina Owen, told officials she did not want the animal returned, the Sheriff's Office said. She relinquished custody to the Broward County Animal Control Division, which had the dog destroyed, officials said.

(Sun Sentinel - December 2, 1988)


Thursday, December 1, 1988

Florida: Little girl, 6, attacked in the face by pit bull while watching TV

FLORIDA -- A 6-year-old girl who was watching television and eating potato chips in a neighbor's apartment was bitten on the face by a pit bull dog on Wednesday afternoon, the Broward Sheriff`s Office said.

Shannon Hunter, of the 3100 block of Northeast Seventh Avenue, north of Pompano Beach, underwent surgery at North Broward Medical Center and was in fair condition Wednesday night, police and hospital officials said.

The 1-year-old dog, Spuds, attacked without warning and may have been going after the potato chips, Sheriff's Office spokesman Al Gordon said.

Broward County paramedics treated the wound on the right side of Hunter's face and the girl's mother took her to the hospital, Gordon said.

The dog's owner, Nina Owen, of the 3000 block of Northeast Seventh Avenue, was issued citations for not having a dog license and not having proof it was vaccinated for rabies, Gordon said.

Spuds was turned over to the county's Animal Control Division and will be impounded for 10 days to determine whether it has rabies, Gordon said.

Owen told officials she did not want the dog back, Gordon said.

Norman Lane, Owen`s neighbor, described Spuds as a friendly dog.

Lane said he knew of no complaints about Spuds besides a call to police when the animal had gotten loose.

(Sun Sentinel - December 1, 1988)