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Animal cruelty hearing postponed

November 3, 2012
Associated Press

IRON MOUNTAIN (AP) - A sentencing hearing for two women charged in an animal cruelty case involving 30 emaciated horses has been postponed after the court was given a photo of them dressed up as a judge and prisoner, standing near a person in a horse costume.

Joan and Kathy Khoury were scheduled for sentencing Thursday in Dickinson County District Court in Iron Mountain. The hearing was postponed to Nov. 12, and the prosecutor's office described the photo as inappropriate.

"It shows, in my view of it, complete contempt for the matters which were brought before this court, as well as for the court proceedings," said Dickinson County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Carl Downing.

The photo was taken the weekend before Halloween. The Associated Press left a message Friday seeking comment from their lawyer, Julie LaCost.

The women pleaded no contest last month to misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. A no contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing purposes. Including the emaciated horses, authorities said the case also involved more than two dozen neglected cats and dogs.

The animals were taken from two separate properties in June. The horses were brought to an animal rescue organization and another group found homes for the cats and dogs.

Carrie Cramer of Piper's Rescue Ranch, which helps find homes for rescued animals, said the photo "makes a mockery of the Upper Peninsula's court system."



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