MENOMINEE - Sentencing was delayed Wednesday for an Escanaba teen who pleaded guilty to torturing three cattle in Menominee County last year.
Chad Meier Jr., 17, was scheduled to be sentenced as an adult Wednesday afternoon on three felony counts of aiding and abetting in the torture of animals. Menominee County Probate Court Judge William Hupy, who has authority to rule in circuit court cases, postponed sentencing until next month.
About two dozen people waited in the courtroom for the hearing to begin at 3:30 p.m. CST Wednesday. More than 40 minutes later, Hupy announced Meier will be sentenced next month because "imperative issues" remain to be resolved in the case.
Jenny Lancour | Daily Press
Defendant Chad Meier Jr. waits with relatives outside the courtroom Wednesday. Meier’s sentencing for torturing cattle belonging to the couple last year was rescheduled for April 10.
"This is a cause of justice. It's important we get this right. I'm determined to get this right. There is a young man's life at stake," Hupy said after apologizing to those who had waited in court.
Meier was one of three Escanaba teens involved in the beating of three purebred Angus cattle on the farm of Gary and Tammy Niarhos on July 17. Two pregnant heifers were so severely tortured they had to be euthanized. A bull recovered from its wounds but will never be used for breeding again.
Co-defendants Nicholas Michael Leisner, 18, and Peter John Sauve, 17, were arrested and lodged in jail the day after the incident. Each later pleaded guilty to three counts of animal torture and were sentenced in circuit court on Feb. 6. Judge Mary Barglind went above the sentencing guidelines and ruled each spend two to four years in prison.
In addition to their prison sentences, Leisner and Sauve were ordered to pay $15,000 toward joint restitution to the Niarhos' insurance company for the animals. Each was also ordered to pay more than $400 in fines and costs. Leisner's sentence included never owning a pet.
Following Meier's arrest last fall at age 16, he was originally charged as a juvenile and appeared in probate court. His juvenile status was later waived and he was to be tried in court as an adult. Judge Hupy retained his jurisdiction in the case at the circuit court level and will sentence him on April 10.
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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, email@example.com