A man accused of neglecting horses on the Key Peninsula has been given a deferred sentence, after arguing that he did his best to care for the animals.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Timothy Ashcraft gave 41-year-old Jeremy Hoskin the sentence March 24, which means he won’t have to serve prison time and the conviction won’t be on his record, if he avoids further trouble with the law.
A jury convicted Hoskin of two counts of second-degree animal cruelty earlier this year, after prosecutors argued several of his horses were underweight, to the point that one had to be euthanized.
According to charging papers:
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An Animal Control officer responded to a call in May 2014, about a loose horse on the Key Peninsula that appeared to be injured and skinny.
The horse was believed to be Hoskin’s, and the officer went to his home and found four horses outside. Several appeared to be underweight, and Animal Control took custody of them.
One of the animals was blind and very underweight, and Animal Control decided it had to be put down.
The jury found that Hoskin failed to get the horses proper medical care, but the horses had pasture, hay and fresh water, defense attorney Sean Wickens wrote the court before sentencing.
The attorney described the animals as rescue horses, and said Hoskin tried to care for them, but had financial trouble and didn’t provide expensive ferrier or veterinary care.
“Arguably, Mr. Hoskin should have provided more hay for the horses given the condition of his pasture,” the attorney wrote, “however it is clear from the evidence presented that Mr. Hoskin was doing the best that he could under the circumstances.”
Hoskin has no prior felony convictions.