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Billings man sentenced for animal cruelty

By The Associated Press
Published On: Dec 13 2012 09:34:13 AM MST
BILLINGS, Mont. -

A Billings livestock breeder has been sentenced to 120 days in jail and fined $5,000 after being found guilty of five counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty over the death of five horses.
    
The sentence Yellowstone County Justice of the Peace Larry Herman handed down Wednesday also prohibits 70-year-old James Leachman from owning cows or horses for the next five years.
    
Leachman says he plans to appeal his conviction.
    
Prosecutors argued Leachman was responsible for placing unbreakable identification leg bands on the horses and failing to remove them as the animals grew. Four of the horses either died or were put down because of injuries caused by the bands. Another had a broken leg.
    
Leachman was charged in January 2011 after the county and volunteers fed hundreds of his horses over the winter.