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January 14, 2012 / V A Nichols

Alabama Mayor found guilty of animal cruelty, important precedent set

http://www2.dothaneagle.com/news/2012/jan/11/2/mayor-new-brockton-found-guilty-jury-ar-3024715/

Published: January 11, 2012
Updated: January 12, 2012 – 9:34 AM

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New Brockton mayor found guilty of animal cruelty

By Carole Brand | cbrand@eprisenow.com

New Brockton Mayor Lenwood Herron was found guilty of second-degree animal cruelty Wednesday by a Coffee County jury.

The jury foreman presented the verdict to Circuit Judge Thomas Head, who read the guilty verdict before the courtroom in Enterprise.

Herron had been charged after dogs were found in what was described as “deplorable” conditions in the town’s dog pen.

Sentencing for Herron was not immediately scheduled. The charge of second-degree animal cruelty is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail with fines up to $6,000.

The 12-person jury, comprised of both men and women, adjourned to the jury room Tuesday afternoon at 2:45 p.m., but could not reach a verdict.

Head dismissed the jury around 5 p.m. Tuesday and the jury returned to the jury room Wednesday for deliberations. Around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday the unanimous verdict was announced.

Also arrested and charged with Herron from the May 2011 incident was New Brockton Public Works Supervisor Tony Bludsworth, who testified in Herron’s trial. Bludsworth is also charged with second-degree animal cruelty.

Bludsworth’s testimony in Herron’s trial showed Herron was his direct supervisor and Bludsworth took orders from him. In the testimony, Bludsworth also stated that he felt his job was in jeopardy from remarks made by Herron and “there ain’t but one way in the town of New Brockton and that’s the mayor’s way.”

According to Assistant District Attorney John Folmar, in closing statements made Tuesday, Bludsworth had testified Herron went to the dog pens, located near the water treatment facility, “on several occasions. I don’t see how he could have missed seeing the dogs.”

Bludsworth stated “we asked him (Herron) about five to 12 times to buy dog food for the animals, but he didn’t. He gave us a check one time for us to buy tin and some 2 x 4’s to put on the dog cages to fix them, but we didn’t use it. All those dogs would have been dead it was so hot….we also told him (Herron) three or four times that the bulldog was hurting the other dogs and puppies. I told him about it and he said he’d handle it.”

Herron was represented by attorney Letta Gorman.


Dothan Eagle © Copyright 2012 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General company.

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