MENOMINEE - Two Escanaba teens who pleaded guilty to torturing cattle at a Wilson farm last summer will be sentenced in Menominee County Circuit Court today.
Nicholas Michael Leisner, 18, and Peter John Sauve, 17, are each charged with three counts of torturing/killing an animal in connection with the July 17 beating of three Angus beef cattle owned by Gary and Tammy Niarhos.
Leisner and Suave each pleaded guilty in December to the three felonies. Each count carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Sentencing is set for 1 p.m. CST.
A third defendant - Chad Meier Jr., 17, of Escanaba - is scheduled for a hearing at 4 p.m. on Feb. 13 in circuit court, where he will either enter a plea or be scheduled for a trial. Meier pleaded not guilty to three counts of torturing/killing an animal in connection with the July 17 incident.
The three arrests resulted from investigation into the beating of two pregnant heifers and a bull at the Niarhos farm. Due to the severity of the animals' injuries, the two heifers had to be euthanized. The bull survived its injuries but will never be able to be used for breeding, according to its owners.
Gary Niarhos found the injured cattle on the morning of July 18 when he went to feed them. One heifer was standing with internal organs hanging outside its body. The other heifer's body was also punctured and manure was coming out from the wound. The bull suffered a broken jaw, a broken backbone, welts, and approximately 20 knife wounds.
The investigation by the Menominee County Sheriff Department revealed the three cattle were confined in a cattle shoot where they were stabbed and beaten. A metal bar, a three-foot jack handle, and a shovel with the end broken off, were found at the scene.
- - -
Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, firstname.lastname@example.org