Abusive Horse Trainer Faces Judge - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Abusive Horse Trainer Faces Judge

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Fayette County, Tn -

Embattled Collierville horse trainer Jackie McConnell is in more hot water. He's already pleaded guilty in federal court and is awaiting sentencing.

McConnell is accused of abusing horses at his stable in Fayette County and then transporting the horses to competitions in East Tennessee.

Sitting in General Sessions Court in Fayette County on Tuesday, McConnell stared straight ahead.

After lengthy proceedings, McConnell finally made his way to the front before a judge, joining his attorney David Douglas.

Within a few minutes his state animal cruelty case, for which he faces 15 misdemeanor charges, was re-set to September 25th.

Attorneys in the case agreed to hold off until McConnell's sentencing hearing in federal court in Chattanooga on September 10th.

In his federal plea agreement, McConnell copped to one count of Felony Conspiracy to Violate the Horse Protection Act by transporting and showing sored horses.

In undercover video, the Humane Society of the United States says it documented abuse to walking horses inside McConnell's stable located in Fayette County. It captured chemicals being dropped onto the legs of horses to artificially heighten their step as well as beating, whipping and shocking.

Fayette County District Attorney General Mike Dunavant says, "This case is disturbing. Evidence indicates a pattern and history of abuse in the industry over time."

McConnell, who we followed outside of court once he was told to return in September, says he'll comment when the case is settled.

McConnell could have been looking at stiffer state charges.          The Tennessee legislature passed a bill making animal abuse a felony and punishable by 1 to 2 years in prison. That will take effect July 1st.

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