Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer sentenced Jorge Luis Garcia on four counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty. Under section 828.12(1), Florida Statutes (2015), "A person who unnecessarily overloads, overdrives, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance or shelter, or unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done, or carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhuman manner, commits animal cruelty, a misdemeanor of the first degree . . . ."
When sentencing Mr. Garcia to one year in jail followed by one year of probation, Judge Feuer noted that numerous animals on Mr. Garcia's farm were "tortured, brutalized and lived in squalor." The judge also ordered that Mr. Garcia complete a ten-hour course on the humane treatment of animals and submit to random inspections of his property.
The State filed the charges against Mr. Garcia after an animal rights group secretly recorded video of the conditions on Mr. Garcia's farm. Mr. Garcia has appealed his conviction, arguing that the group's intrusion onto his property violated his rights and that the videos should not have been admitted into evidence.
For more information, see:
Marc Freeman, Ex-Loxahatchee Farm Owner Gets One Year in Jail in Goat Slaughter Case, Sun Sentinel (May 23, 2016), available at: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/palm-beach/fl-goat-slaughter-case-sentencing-20160426-story.html