Clay County Sheriff Lemons Testifies in Custody Case Involving Seizure of 30 Horses

Clay County Sheriff Kenny Lemons took the stand on Tuesday afternoon in the custody case of about 30 horses that were seized by deputies after they were allegedly found malnourished and starving on a Clay County ranch.

Sheriff Lemons says the first time he saw pictures of the horses was early in the morning on Feb. 14.

Deputies say they witnessed severely malnourished horses and found the skeletal remains of one horse on the ranch owned by Byron Brehmer.

Lemons told the jury he did not see the animals in person until later that day but made the decision to seize the horses based on the photos taken by his deputies.

He says he did not believe the horses had been fed for many weeks.

Also, he says when he walked in the field, he saw no signs that that had been any hay dropped off. 

Brehmer's attorney went through pictures of some of the horses and asked Lemons if each horse looked healthy.

Lemons acknowledged some of the horses looked healthy but they were still seized along with the ones who looked malnourished.

Brehmer wants custody returned of the horses that were seized by the county from his property north of Henrietta, and requested the jury trial.

Brehmer is also facing criminal charges for animal cruelty, though at last report, he has not been formally charged.

The trial started on Monday and resumed at 3 p.m. on Tuesday but was recessed an hour later because the veterinarian who examined the horses could not make it.

The custody case will resume on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Clay County Judge Kenneth Liggett, who is presiding the case, says he expects the trial to wrap up on Wednesday. 

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