Nevada Daily Mail
Hunter D. Harper, 18, of El Dorado Springs, is the first of three men to see his case to the end and receive a sentence in an animal abuse case which resulted in the death of three stolen goats, found on the grounds of an El Dorado Springs school in December 2011. Harper changed his not guilty pleas to guilty in exchange for the probationary sentence.
Vernon County Associate Judge Neal Quitno sentenced Harper on Thursday, Sept. 27, to two years of probation under a suspended sentence. Harper must stay out of trouble, perform 50 hours of community service within 90 days, and pay restitution to Tom Taylor, owner of goats, in the amount of $2,700. Harper also agreed to testify against both Tyrel Parsley and Joshua Markus in their cases.
A suspended imposition of sentence means that if the defendant performs all of the sentencing obligations successfully, the record will be closed and only law enforcement and certain government agencies will have access to the case information. If unsuccessful during the probationary period, the defendant can be sentenced under different guidelines.
Vernon County Prosecuting Attorney Lynn M. Ewing III said he agreed to the sentence in order to get Hunter's testimony and because "he's the one who fessed up and said 'here's what happened.'"
Two other suspects connected to the case are Joshua A. Markus and Tyrel C. Parsley, both of El Dorado Springs.
Parsley was granted a change of venue, and appeared in a Barton County court Oct. 1, for a pre-trial conference. He is charged with two felony counts of theft of livestock, one count of felony animal abuse, torture or mutilation while the animal was still alive and one count of first-degree property damage.
Markus has pleaded not guilty and also was granted a change of venue to Barton County and a court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 22. Specific charge information was not available Thursday evening.