Arrest Made In Fayette County Horse Shooting

Brad Gill | February 1, 2010

A Fayette County horse shot on Jan. 3 with three broadhead-tipped arrows is recovering, according to Nancy Padovano, the horses’ owner.

On Jan. 7, Jeremy Ryan Richardson, 17, of Fayette County, was arrested on an aggravated cruelty to animals charge, in addition to 14 counts of game-and-fish violations.

“He actually came in to speak to us,” said Brent Rowan, an investigator with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. “He did not disclose anything. He actually asked for an attorney. Based on the evidence we already had, based on the investigation we already had going, we were able to take him into custody.”

The horse shooting was reported after a neighbor saw the horse with arrows sticking out of its body on Banks Town Road, in Brooks. The horse was shot in the middle-spine area, the neck and just below the right eye. Deputies responded, and an investigation began.

Before the arrest of Richardson on Jan. 7, GONetwork, several organizations and concerned citizens collected $8,000 for information that would aid with an arrest.

“Somebody has taken a tool commonly associated with sportsmen and done something bad with it,” said GONetwork President Steve Burch. “This is clearly the work of a poacher and a criminal.”

While good intentions were in mind, nobody is in line for the money.

“Nobody is going to be collecting on that,” said Rowan. “The investigator assigned to the case was able to track down some leads, which led to his arrest.”

Richardson, a Whitewater High School student, was also charged with a host of game-and-fish violations.

“After speaking to him, we were able to add additional charges, which included six counts of failure to record deer harvest, six counts of unlawful possession of or use of wildlife,” said Rowan, “then one count of hunting deer at night and one count of hunting deer over bait.”

The 14 counts of game-and-fish violations are misdemeanors, but the aggravated cruelty to animals charge for shooting the horse is a felony, which carries a minimum of one year in prison.

On Jan. 9, Richardson was released on $17,115 bond and is currently awaiting a trial date, which will likely take months.

“I’m happy they have somebody they charged,” said Padovano, the horse’s owner. “But until he’s convicted, I won’t rest easy. I’m so uneasy. I go out three or four times a day and count my horses now. I go out at night and check them. It’s made my life a nightmare. We were so happy here in this little community.”

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