Former city mayor gets jail time for animal cruelty

Former city mayor goes to jail for...

EL CENTRO, Calif. -

El Centro City Council Member and former City Mayor Jason Jackson was sentenced to jail on Thursday by a Superior Court Judge.

Jackson pleaded guilty to a felony animal cruelty charge that was later brought down to a misdemeanor. The court says Jackson’s horse – Raider - had been found mistreated early last year.

Imperial County Deputy District Attorney Heather Trapnell explained the conditions of the sentence.

“Three years formal probation. Ten days in county jail. He cannot possess or reside with any animals for five years. He has to attend counseling. His residence and his person are subject to search and seizure by law enforcement without a warrant at the terms of probation. A thousand dollar fine,” Trapnell said.

Jackson lost custody of Raider. The horse is no longer at Jackson’s stable.

“He claims he sold the horse. The probation will have to look into that to make sure that it’s a valid sale. If he sold the horse and it’s with a new owner, then, it will stay there. If they find out that he still has the horse in some way, then it will be forfeited,” Tranpnell said.

El Centro resident Marlene Thomas said she was shocked when she first saw the pictures of a mistreated raider last year when the case was first made public.

“When I initially saw the picture, I was taken aback. To me, without a doubt, that horse had been absolutely mistreated. And starvation was absolutely the fact,” Thomas said.

She says all animal owners must be responsible.

“If you’re really a responsible animal owner, then you take care of your animal. You feed it, you give it love; and you obey the law and you keep it leashed or fenced in,” Thomas said.

She said people should understand that animal cruelty or neglect can have terrible consequences.

“Let them know that they have a responsibility to their animals. And if they do not treat their animals fair and with decency, there are consequences,” Thomas said.

Jackson must report to county jail on August 31.

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