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Image of the Virginia State Seal

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Lara Sisselman, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING SECURES CONVICTIONS IN ANIMAL CRUELTY CASES

RICHMOND (June 23, 2017) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that his Animal Law Unit secured convictions in 3 animal cruelty cases in Mecklenburg and Lunenburg counties.

 

"Mistreatment of animals is inhumane and illegal, and I'm glad to see the perpetrators of these crimes brought to justice," said Attorney General Mark Herring. "These convictions send a strong, clear signal across the Commonwealth that those who commit cruelty to animals will be held accountable for their actions."

 

Those convicted are:

Trent Johnson, age 56, from Drakes Branch, Va. Johnson was found guilty in Lunenburg Circuit Court of two counts of cruelty to animals for mistreatment of chickens at the Tyson breeder farm which he owned. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail with all 30 days suspended for a period of two years. He is not allowed to supervise any chicken production crew for a period of two years.

 

Jimmie Lawson, age 62, from Blackstone, Va. Lawson was found guilty in Mecklenburg Circuit Court of three counts of cruelty to animals for mistreatment of chickens at a Tyson breeder farm by cruelly killing them. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail with all 30 days suspended for one  year, and is barred from working with animals for one year. He also pled guilty to two counts of cruelty to animals in Lunenburg Circuit Court and was sentenced to 30 days in jail with all 30 days suspended for one year, and ordered to not work with animals for one year.

 

Harold Parent, age 28, from Plattsburgh, Ny. Parent pled guilty in Mecklenburg Circuit Court to mistreatment of chickens at a Tyson breeder farm. He was sentenced to twelve months in jail with all 12 months suspended for a period of five years. He may not work with animals for five years.

 

Senior Assistant Attorney General Michelle Welch and Assistant Attorney General Kelci Block of the Office of the Attorney General prosecuted the cases for the Commonwealth of Virginia.

 

Attorney General Herring established a first of its kind Animal Law Unit in January 2015. It has been recognized by the Norfolk SPCA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund for its groundbreaking trainings, complex investigations, and prosecutions of animal cruelty.  

 

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