Poinsett County man pleads guilty to animal cruelty

Poinsett County man pleads guilty to animal cruelty

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) - A Poinsett County rancher pleaded guilty in Poinsett County Circuit Court Thursday on animal cruelty charges following an investigation into an "emaciated bull", according to court documents.

Jeff Drum, 46, of Harrisburg was given a $2,000 fine and ordered to undergo a psychological exam by a special judge. Two of Drum's original charges were dropped.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Sgt. Chris Crews with the Poinsett County Sheriff's Office saw the bull in a pasture at the corner of Marple Road and Holly Springs Road in September 2014.

When Crews saw the animal, he took pictures and contacted Wannda Turner of the Northeast Arkansans for Animals. Turner and detectives arrived at the pasture the following day.

Drum met with detectives and told them "the bull was thin but it was not starving," according to the affidavit. When officers couldn't locate the bull, Drum told officers that the bull was in the pasture.

A former employee of Drum's told Detective Ron Martin with the sheriff's office that Drum and three other employees had moved the bull to a barn on Old Military Lane before detectives could look at it. When Martin secured a search warrant on October 2, 2014.

When he arrived at the barn, he met Drum at the property. Martin said he found a black bull in a pen to itself and it appeared to be receiving food and water. The bull also "looked better than I expected it to look," according to the affidavit.

Martin then left the property after telling Drum not to dispose of the animal unless he got permission from the court.

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