Charges coming ‘any day’ in commissioner’s animal cruelty case
Pictured are some of the cattle owned by Burnet County Precinct 3 Commissioner Billy Wall that were seized by the Sheriff’s Office on Sept. 8. This photo was taken on Sept. 16 after a week of the animals being fed and cared for at the Burnet County fairgrounds in Burnet. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey
The Burnet County Sheriff’s Office will soon file misdemeanor criminal charges against Burnet County Precinct 3 Commissioner Billy Wall for animal cruelty, Sheriff Calvin Boyd told DailyTrib.com. The Sheriff’s Office sold 79 head of cattle seized from Wall’s ranch at an auction in San Saba on Nov. 10.
The cattle were confiscated Sept. 8 after an investigation of complaints that the animals were malnourished. The herd was taken to the Burnet County Fairgrounds in Burnet, where they were cared for by a large animal veterinarian until healthy enough to sell, Boyd said.
“If there’s a positive out of this, we were able to rescue those cows, doctor them, and get them back to health,” he said. “And we got a pretty decent check for them.”
The animals brought in $45,081.81 from Jordan Cattle Auction in San Saba, about $18,000 short of the estimated $63,000 cost of moving and caring for them. According to a civil court settlement agreed on in the Burnet County Court at Law, Wall will have to pay the county the difference.
The agreement was signed on Nov. 10 with the stipulation that Wall could not appeal to a higher court. A similar settlement in a justice of the peace court was appealed to the court at law on Oct. 11.
Wall and his attorney, Eddie Shell, said they appealed because Sheriff Boyd did not keep up the county’s end of the deal when he did not sell the animals within 10 days of the agreement. Also, Boyd publicly stated his intentions to file criminal charges.
According to Boyd, the cattle were in no condition to be sold at the time of the first settlement. He said he would not sell them until the veterinarian in charge of their care signed off on their conditions.
When asked Wednesday, Nov. 16, about impending charges, he again confirmed charges are in the works.
“We’re definitely going to file charges,” Boyd said. “It could be any day.”
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