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updated: 10/27/2011 4:08 PM

Probation, possible jail in McHenry horse abuse case

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  • Jamie Koy

    Jamie Koy

  • Shannon Riley

    Shannon Riley


A 37-year-old Des Plaines woman who was convicted of neglect and animal cruelty to five horses faces up to 60 days in jail if she mistreats her horses again.

A McHenry County judge Thursday sentenced Jamie Koy to two years probation and 60 days in jail, fined her $1,200 and ordered a psychological evaluation.

However, Judge Charles Weech said the jail sentence would only be triggered if Koy fails to care for her horses while on probation. Weech warned her that she would be watched closely.

"These horses were in dire straits. They were in trouble," he said. "I want to prevent this from ever occurring again."

Koy and another woman were arrested in fall 2010 after authorities found 14 malnourished and poorly cared for horses in the 6100 block of East Hillside Drive near Crystal Lake.

A jury convicted Koy in May of eight counts of animal cruelty and 16 counts of animal neglect.

Two horses were euthanized because of their poor condition.

Koy, who declined to comment after the hearing, faced up to a year in jail.

Shannon Riley, 22, on Aug. 31 agreed to one year supervision, 25 hours of community service and $455 in court fines and costs. If she completes her supervision, her record will be wiped clean of the misdemeanor neglect charge.

At Thursday's hearing, Assistant State's Attorney Matt Ciesielski argued for a 90-day sentence, an evaluation and two years of probation during which Koy and other people living with her would be prohibited from owning horses.

"The only person who didn't think there was anything wrong with the horses was the defendant," Ciesielski said. "Every single other person (who testified) and every single piece of evidence indicated otherwise."

But defense attorney Dan Hofmann argued that Koy did not have a prior criminal record and that several horses were returned to her in December 2010 and there have been no further reports or charges of neglect. Hofmann said Koy adopted some of the horses with "the best of intentions" to rehabilitate them but simply took on too much responsibility.

"She had ambitions. They did not come to fruition," Hofmann said, arguing for probation and community service. "It was a very serious case of negligence. We can't say that it wasn't."

Weech also said he took into consideration that several horses were returned to Koy. "I would assume if they were not in good condition, there would be additional charges filed," he said.

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