Billings horse breeder convicted in animal cruelty case


MISSOULA, Mont. - A Billings jury found horse breeder James Leachman guilty on all five counts of animal cruelty.

A six-person jury deliberated for just three hours Tuesday night before returning with the verdict. Prosecutors say at least five of Leachman's 800 horses suffered serious injuries from leg identification bands that were too tight. Four of those injured horses died, one had to be put down.

Leachman faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 12.

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