There are new developments surrounding dead, and injured horses discovered on property in Crystal Springs. During our interview, Jerry Earls claimed the horses were his. But Earls has apparently changed his story.
Earls, who was convicted of grand larceny and livestock theft in 2012, now says he is not the owner. Copiah County Sheriff Harold Jones said Earls told him the dead, injured and healthy herd actually belonged to someone who lives out of state.
Earls gave the Sheriff a name, but we have not substantiated the new information. Also, the Mississippi Board of Animal Health posted on their Facebook page December 6, that MBAH has determined that they (the horses) belong to an individual in another state. Dr. Jim Watson said they are not ready to release the name of the possible owner pending their investigation.
Jerry Earls is charged with 4 counts of animal cruelty for not giving medical care to injured animals found on Crystal Springs property that he leased 6 months ago.
The Board of Animal Health is investigating 14 unburied horses on the property Earls leases, as well as business and medical paperwork. The penalty for not disposing of a carcass is a fine up to $1,000.00 per animal.
So why was Earls claiming to own the horses? And why didn't he point authorities to another owner from out of state initially? Those questions remain unanswered.
We have learned that Earls told the Sheriff that he was simply the "caretaker," but horse owner or caretaker the charges stick." And as far as what will happen to those horses, that will have to be determined by the Board of Animal Health.
"This investigation is by no means over, " said Sheriff Jones Monday.
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