Horse News

Convicted Nebraska Wild Horse Killer Wins Appeal To Own Animals

(The News as We See It) by R.T. Fitch ~ Author/Director of HfH Advisory Council

Nebraska Appeals Court Flip-Flops on Landmark Ruling

Over 70 Wild Horses and Burros died at the hand of convicted Jason Meduna

Houston (SFTHH) – The Omaha World-Herald has reported, today, that convicted wild horse killer Jason Maduna cannot be barred from having animals after he allowed 70+ wild horses and burros to starve to death on his property in Morrill County Nebraska during early 2009.

A Nebraska Court of Appeals issued a ruling on Tuesday that upheld Maduna’s conviction on 145 counts of cruel neglect of an animal and likewise upheld his sentence of 40 months to 10 years in prison but for some reason, lacking any sense, decided to overrule his restriction from owning, possessing or residing with animals for 30 years once he is released.

The ruling flies in the face of and totally ignores the very clear Nebraska law that states the judge “shall” restrict animal ownership by people convicted of felony animal abuse or neglect.

Equine and Animal advocates from both within and outside of Nebraska were appalled by the courts unexpected and irregular ruling.

“For once we thought that the court had, at the very least, up held the law and rightfully ruled on such a heinous crime of death and animal abuse as this,” stated Jerry Finch, Founder and President of Habitat for Horses a non-profit organization that helped in placing the survivors of this tragedy.  “But what prompted this reversal of a previous ruling is beyond me.”

Terry Fitch, noted wild horse photographer and advocate said;

“We have been following this case from the beginning as we have friends who had horses involved and to see this happen after we actually thought the horses caught a break is devastating.  This is not a fitting memorial for the horses that Meduna willfully killed.”

Court records indicate that Meduna appealed that the band was unconstitutional and could be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

The case stemmed from a search warrant issued in April 2009 when authorities found over 200 horses, mules and donkeys on the doorstep of death on Maduna’s property with at least 74 identifiable horses dead from starvation and neglect.

59 replies »

  1. Another court that lives in the past, protecting special interest (slavery as one example), refuses to proceed into the modern age.

    Vick can’t own animals; why is this court ignoring that preceedent?….cow town central? They must have alot of abusers in Nebraska that they have to protect one like this….wanna bet? Sick.

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  2. This is the truth behind our so called justice system. It sickens me to the core of my soul at the reality of something so morally wrong being thrown in our faces as if these poor, desperate animals are worthless. They suffered untold agony and this SOB gets the last laugh. Lets hope he chokes to death on his own venom before he sees another sunrise on the outside. As for the judge, he deserves the same treatment incurred by the voiceless horses and burros.

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    • I agree with you. I hated the way slaughter was described as an “industry” closed down in the US (and they were FOREIGN companies) Every thing, living, non-living, ALL, comes down to “business”. I am starting to hate that word with a passion.

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  3. The courts and judges are in need of citizen scrutiny. It appears that many of them are more interested in advancing their careers than in upholding justice. This judge needs to be called on the carpet.

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  4. What kind of judge is that anyway??!! The man who owned starved horses that I found many years ago was barred from owning horses again . That was justice.

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  5. “Cruel and unusual punishment” for a convicted and sentenced felony animal abuser? I can only hope he meets some animal lovers in prison!

    A Cuba, NM, man (Charged with 10 counts of felony animal abuse and NONE of the horses died!), was prohibited from owning ANY animals for 30 years. Pled down to a one count misdemeanor, sentenced to 6 mos. probation, paid court costs and a small fine – but the judge DIDN”T remove the prohibition on anmial ownership. His wife knew about and participated in the abuse, but, since she wasn’t the “owner of record”, she still CAN own animals, so there you go.

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  6. This was printed in Reno Gazette Journal:

    Vegas summit advocates return to horses as food
    BY CRISTINA SILVA • ASSOCIATED PRESS • JANUARY 4, 2011

    “The Chinese are chomping at the bit to buy our horses,” said former U.S. Rep Charlie Stenholm, D-Texas. “The Russians are chomping at the bit to buy our horses. Why can’t we sell it to them?”

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    • Greed is running rampant with the politicians all they can think of is easy money easy money, Again they prey on the innocent , what part of there are some things that are precious , Again must they be reminded that horses are not LIVESTOCK !!! And are not for consumption, this kind of Greed must not be tolerated under any conditions……………………. This kind of warped thinking is DESPICABLE …….. and very unbecoming for anyone even to consider……………….. Maybe this is some kind of a mental problem or what !!!!! My advice to this kind of thought is go get help, and go grow some awesome veggies and shut up…….. Horses are Sacred they Represent our Freedom ……..

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  7. This is from a direct conversation i had with sally in the DC office about a month ago..In relationship to my concern over the fate of the SA horses at canon city..i brought up the meduna case as the compelation of my worst fears on what would happen to these horses..and..sally said..Poor Jason..the horses just went wild reproducing and starved to death…maybe for the first time in my life..I was speechless..I informed her that I had read the legal case and did not find that to be the case..Hey maybe the BLM spoke to the judge and was a character witness for him..who knows..I just find everything BLM says to be in direct conflict with the welfare and future of the wild horses.

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    • That is horrific, Sandra, to hear the BLM rep in DC STANDING UP for Jason Maduna! Did you happen to tape your conversation? That is something people need to hear, these monsters who claim no responsibility for any of their own brutality and stupidity — like giving horses to Maduna — sticking up for a sick puppy like him. And her bs line was just like the bs they feed the media constantly: the mustangs ate all the food til they starved and kept reproducing, out of control. THESE are the managers of our wild herds? It’s a nightmare, I tell you!

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    • Elliroo – come sit by me! I have been saying, writing, and posting that statement the last year: “another day when I’m ashamed to be part of the human race!” When will this insanity cease?! If the Hopi prophecies are true, I keep thinking, “come on 2012!” This planet needs an enema.

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  8. Once again, the justice system is ruled by stupidity. This makes my stomach turn. I shudder to think what animals will be subjected to what cruelties this person will put them through.

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  9. Such a sad day for the lives of all the equines killed and still alive to have such a brutial being not being punished completely for the crime.

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  10. To be given a second chance one must prove they are worthy of it , doesnt take a scholar to understand that …………….. Where do these Judges come from ???? Somewhere were common sense and conscience is not use in decision making ,should be included?????

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  11. So let’s go after him for squandering public funds as he most certainly got tax payer’s money for keeping mustangs and burros,handed to him via the BLM.Also,get this out to media as an example of how tax payer’s money is mis-used.With the public now being concerned about saving public funds,this might actually work.

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  12. I think Sabine is right~his getting tax payer’s money for keeping mustangs and burros through BLM would be a great thing for the media to spread as one example of many of how tax payer’s money is mis-used!!

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  13. I did not see an email contact on the court’s web site. This is a very short sighted ruling. And a horrible precedent to set. I agree with many posters re the condition of the human race right now. At least those in leadership roles. Many are wearing the emperor’s new clothes. Time ro start a revolution from below.

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  14. I can’t believe this – that picture is enough to make you want to murder the SOB.
    Good heavens – how long did that poor animal have to lie there and suffer. Just sickening.

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  15. Seems like just yesterday I was among them hoping they would live.
    He doesn’t deserve to own anything alive PERIOD.

    Here they were then arriving at Lifesavers 26 Mama’s and babies ..
    http://rachaelwallerphotography.smugmug.com/gallery/8167958_NGQ7N#533265999_GaTM4

    All are healthy now but I can’t help but feel like I have let my herd down when I hear this. Lazarus aka (Jason called him Baby Blue) survived by the grace of God and lives here without a worry in the world. It has taken years for him to become healthy he will be 3 this spring. He and the others are joys in my life but the older one’s are damaged beyond any kind of love can give them, so we love them just the way they are and allow them to roam in freedom here on the ranch. BLessings to all who survived.. and Jason, you demon…. karma is a bitch.
    (Hugs to Pam N. my three strikes sister).

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    • Yup. A major “Ooops!” A Biggy. I just read the reversal of the reversal and my heart soared. I wonder how Jason’s heart is today.

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    • THANK GOODNESS!
      I think he should never be allowed to even touch an animal again – for the rest of his life. I hope his prison doesn’t have an animal rehab program for him to participate in!

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      • Dear Grandma There is a good thing about having an Animal rehab in a prision , is you would really be surprised but when the abuser is forced to take care of an animal under supervision, some miraculous things do occur, number 1 most if not all of them will learn respect, love for the very thing before they could not appreciate, i think the very best rehabilitation is achieved when the then abuser is forced to learn to properly take care of what he was abusing of course under supervision only…. It is only then when the punishment fits the crime when the perpetrator can learn the proper respect, animals have a special gift of making this happen….. in even the worst offenders……… Not that I am saying they should be given the trust outside of a controlled environment , thus after this they will always mourn for what they can not process, because of their stupidity………………… I find this to be a great accomplishment !!! And certainly befits the crime………

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  16. I think he should rot in prison for good honestly without the benefit of companionship from any animal, but sadly that is not a reality!!

    I was given a book for Christmas by a non horsey friend. It is written by Don Hoglund and is titled “Nobody’s Horses” It is about the rescue .of the wild herd of the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in 1994. I have only just started reading it and it opens with a story about gentling mustangs by the author and the inmates of the New Mexico Correctional Facility in Sante Fe. I have to admit that I started reading it with great trepidation hoping that it would not be filled with the usual lies, deceit and heavy handedness that we have all come to expect on this issue recently. I am reserving judgement still until i get further into it but am pleasantly surprised.

    Does anyone else know of this man and this particular part of our Mustangs’ history? I would be really glad to get any feedback on it and have tried to find out where he is located and if he is still actively involved. I know that here I will always get the best leads and advice. Judging from the book he sounds pretty awesome!!!

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    • I think that herd is now at ISPMB in S Dakota, Karen Sussman’s refuge and also the group that Wild Horse Annie started way back when. I’m sure Karen would know more about the man featured in the book… she’s probably in there herself one would think.

      By the way ISPMB is in dire need of donations for hay. I think they have something like 600 or 900 horses, four different herds, that have to be sustained over winter in that frigid climate. You can read about them here: ispmb.org

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    • Whomever the Judge was that gave that decision, ought to be thrown from the Bench, This is called enabling , in order to make decisions one must search one soul for guidance, you can have all the College Education money can buy, but Commonsense decisions, now thats where the real smarts comes in………….

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    • Virginia Rust….and Obama has what to do with Jason Meduna and a lousy legal system in Nebraska? Obama made the 3 Congressional trolls remove the defunding language in an appropriations continuation bill? Obama made him starve the equines? BLM (much as I despise them) made him take in 3 strikes equines? ABR made Meduna commit fraud with funds? The neighbors next to this hole of death made him accuse them of poisoning the equines he was starving?

      Extrapolated to the extreme, Virginia Rust.

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      • Demons come in many forms and here lies within this Horror are many, But none more obvious than Meduna, the Justice system failed, but there is another one , that takes over when this one fails it is known as the higher power, in this case I am sure it will be handled with clear and precise justice , meduna will be judged and sentenced for his crimes in another way of that we can depend Denise…….

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      • I get you point, arlene….my point is that the situation with Meduna is a continuous level of escalation and series of FAIL! Obama is where the buck stops and he could have halted the roundups and/or 3 strikes policy long ago. He got a lot of help.

        However to focus on Obama is weak at best.

        I believe God is the final judge in the next life; however, I believe we, as humans, as caretakers have to uniformly take care to do right in this world.

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      • Denise, you right on all counts, we are all the appointed caretakers, some cant be trusted to care of anything, thats why we have made Laws ,that is why we have Judges and Courts when they fail (seems all the time in these cases) we must keep trying to improve who and whom we are trusting to administer Justice, Obama well he is less then even weak,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,He is a fail…… there are many fails where our horses are concerned , but there are also people many who will not take this more and more everyday………. You and I and all here…….

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      • Denise my point is that “OUR GOVERMENT IS CORRUPT” from the President on down!
        I am a retired Mens Maximum Senior Correctional Officer and spent many days in court with Inmates,
        let me tell you if it is not politically correct in favor of the judge he/she will lean the other way in
        their decision or if the accused cries out unfare/undue punishment or intimidation the judge will
        reverse their decision. Here at home (Nevada) 3 mens shot and killed 30 wild horses in court they
        pleabargined to lesser charges and got away with a slap on the hand. It is my opinion that anyone who could do some of the things these men did to the foals/horses could also do to young children and their parents and should be shot or hung. Nebraska is not the only state with a bad judge it is world wide — wonder when the people will wake up? This is not the USA I was raised in! I own 14 horses myself and moved here because of the Wild Horses (Love watching them)but I Love and care for my horses like my children. How could anyone look into those eyes and see their soul and still be able to eat- harrass – mame -kill them.

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  17. Denise and Arlene…and ALL. Alert :)>>> Obama is now on the 2nd Presidential campaign. And guess what his main focus is? Well, who woulda guessed>>>>(((((CHANGE!!!!!!))))) And there is more. He is promising ((((MORE CHANGE)))) !!! Horse slaughter pipeline, wild horses & burros, wolves, endangered species, bison, marine life, we now know what Obama’s 1st “Change” meant. He changed his mind on animal welfare a few days after inauguration with SalaCzar at his side>>> HSUS gives Obama a C- on animal “issues” in his 1st presidential term. Does the new “Change” mean a higher grade…a B maybe? Or a flunk.

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    • Who knows….as a lame duck (if we can get rid of Reid…TROLL) he might make the right decisions.

      I hope….but plan for the worst.

      BUT….never give up and never go away!

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    • I will believe when I see where did you hear or see this Ronnie??????his first order of Business is to restore the ROAM ACT IMMED|IATELY !!! then he can stop horse slaughter and apologize for ever signing it !!!!! He can close down THE BLM, HE can Get rid Of Ken Slaughterzar, not to forget ab out the Moron in Nevada Harry Reid, just a few of his Changes , he can start acting like the President of the US, and show that OUR HORSES are Important as they were way back when !!!!!!!!!!!!!!…….. and give them their Freedom like a real American President would !!! I could go on for hours , but I would be Preaching to the \Choir………………….

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      • arlene…I think Ronnie is on our side.

        Most President’s didn’t give the wild equines squat; Nixon signed a bill to shut up the populace and every session of Congress and the Executive Branch have since the signing putrefied the 1971 Act. It wa the intent all along.. It isn’t one man…it is cultural and politics.

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      • Arlene, I saw Obama speaking, campaigning on *TV. He was speaking in his home city & state as Senator, Chicago, Illinois. I voted for him because of all he voiced on “Change.” And he DID emphasize animals for the positive, his 1st campaign. Sooooo, when I heard this AGAIN, I wanted to yell at the TV (did not as I have a new, getting used to me, adopted kitty:) I cannot quote exactly, but Obama did add something to the effect that he knows he campaigned on “Change” before, but this time he will do more on “Change.” Maybe a Google search will have more written on his speech. However, I am sure we will hear “Change” over and over in the coming months.

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  18. Sorry, I wasnt questioning Ronnies loyalty I just wonder how he knew and where he found out thats all……….. If none of the Presidents gave a rats A– about the horses I wonder where they come off, Horses are as American as you can get !!!! and Every American President should show respect for the essential part of Americas History they are and will be and why they should be protected at all costs………………….

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    • Arlene & Denise, I am loyal to the max. I like many, knew nothing about horse slaughter until I just happened to put on the TV and there happened to be a horse race and right away a horse broke down. A lover of animals, I need to follow this unknown boy on the internet. And therein found out about horse slaughter. This was May 2006 and A Horse Named *Barbaro. Since then, anti-slaughter, and later when I learned of wild horses, became my PASSION. BTW, I am a female. Ronnie nickname for Veronica. Ronnie Greene (Facebook); Dawnstar1 (Alex Brown Racing). Hugs.

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      • ah Ronnie Barbaro, I was one of his many loyal fans, followed him from the beginning, one of the finest thoroughbreds in horse racing, I have been a fan of horses that race since I was 5 yrs old not that I approve of the things that are going on , but have always believed that horses are very competitive and love Racing……………………….. i believe that Racing can and will adapt to what is necessary to treat the horses better, most I have witnessed love their horses, always there are a few which do not know the meaning of respect, but as a whole , there is plenty of work to do there !!!!

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