Ex-farm manager gets prison time on animal cruelty charges

CORNWALL, Conn. (AP) — The former manager of a Cornwall farm has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for neglecting a herd of goats.

Michael Hearl was sentenced Tuesday, but allowed to remain free on bond while the conviction on 19 counts of animal cruelty is appealed.

Related: More dead goats found at farm of pair charged with cruelty

Prosecutors say many of the goats Hearl was supposed to take care of at Butterfield Farm died or were ill.

Hearl tells the Republican-American he was not “calling the shots” at the farm and he actually tried to help the goats.

Related: Goat owners may face charges after dead animals found at Cornwall farm

Prosecutors dismissed that defense and said evidence shows that Hearl was making the decisions about the animals and provided misleading information regarding feeding practices and goat mortality during an investigation in December 2014 and January 2015.

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Information from: Republican-American, http://www.rep-am.com

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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