Dead lambs, starved horses, dogs and cats result in 60-day Minnesota jail sentence, probation
WILLMAR -- A Blomkest man accused of mistreating over a dozen animals on a rural hobby farm was sentenced Monday to 60 days in jail and one year of probation, including a ban from possessing animals.
WILLMAR - A Blomkest man accused of mistreating over a dozen animals on a rural hobby farm was sentenced Monday to 60 days in jail and one year of probation, including a ban from possessing animals.
Leonard K. Kester, 48, was originally facing one felony charge and 13 misdemeanors for the alleged animal mistreatment and torture. As part of Monday’s plea agreement, the felony charge and 12 of the misdemeanors were dismissed.
The charges in Kandiyohi County District Court came after a sheriff’s deputy saw dead lambs and turkeys and malnourished horses, cats and dogs at the address. According to the criminal complaint on the charges, Kester lived at the address, but the farm belonged to his wife. She had been away from the residence for just over a week in April 2015. She told sheriff’s deputies that when she returned to the farm May 7, she discovered that the animals “had neither food nor water and appeared to be thin and malnourished.”
The woman told authorities the animals had been healthy April 28, 2015, when she had last seen them. A sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to the scene that same day, and observed abnormally thin animals and a dead lamb that had been half-eaten by other animals. Several animals were missing. The woman also reported past animal mistreatment to authorities.
She said Kester punched a ewe in the face in May 2013 when it was not nursing its lamb. He also allegedly picked up and threw his daughter’s kitten into a shed, causing injury to its leg. The woman alleged that Kester had mistreated those animals to terrorize and intimidate her and their daughter.