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Centre Co. man found guilty, again, of starving cattle

Prosecutors said man left dead cattle in field

Reported By: Gary Sinderson
Written By: Marc Stempka

BELLEFONTE, Pa. A Centre County man was found guilty, again, for having dead and malnourished cattle on his farm in a rural part of the county.

Thomas Shawley, 56, of Milesburg, was found guilty Monday at a summary trial at the Centre County courthouse after failing to successfully argue his appeal on more than 20 animal cruelty related charges.

Prosecutors said in February of 2013 that nine dead cattle were found on Shawleys farm in Burnside Township and that he was responsible for them along with other cattle that were badly malnourished.

Magisterial District Judge Allen Sinclair found Shawley guilty on 19 summary offenses related to cruelty to animals and nine summary offenses for failure to properly dispose of dead domestic animals in July.

Shawley didnt appear at the July hearing and prosecutors proceeded with the conviction.

Shawley later appealed that conviction, leading to Mondays summary trial in Bellefonte.

Several people testified on Shawleys behalf at Mondays trial. Witnesses said Shawley fed the cattle and that part of his herd was later sold at a livestock auction.

However, prosecution witnesses, including an animal forensic expert, testified that many of the animals were badly malnourished and left out in the cold with little or no food.

Prosecutors said approximately 32 beef cattle were discovered on Shawleys farm in February, many in a muddy field with no feed available.

Investigators said the animals were visibly malnourished and nine were lying dead in a field with the rest of the herd.

Shawley was found guilty on all charges again on Monday by Judge Jonathan Grine. His sentencing was scheduled for Dec. 2.

Shawley was originally sentenced in July to one year and seven months to four years and nine months in prison for the animal abuse. He was also ordered to pay restitution of animal testing and fined $2,700 for not properly disposing of the dead cattle.

Additionally, he was not permitted to own any animals throughout his sentence.

There is no indication that Shawley will have the same sentence as what was issued in July, but Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said prosecutors would seek the same sentence.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times