GREAT FALLS – Richard Dean Holen was found not guilty on several counts of animal cruelty in connection with the deaths of over a dozen horses on Fort Peck Tribal lands north of Wolf Point.
The trial against Holen was held last week and the jury found him not guilty of one count of aggravated animal cruelty and five counts of cruelty to animals.
According to court documents, the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office was informed of nine dead horses near Highway 13 last summer. A total of nine mares and five colts were found dead.
Sheriff Jason Frederick noted there was plenty of food, but no water available for the horses.
A veterinarian examined the horses and reported evidence suggested the horses died of dehydration.
The Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office, Fort Peck Fish and Game, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs were involved in the investigation.
The trial lasted one day.