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Probation extended for shooting cows and horses

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE —  A Dunn County judge has extended the probation by one year for a Boyceville man who pleaded guilty to shooting three horses in Dunn County and five cows in Barron County in November of 2009.

The Honorable Rod Smeltzer agreed to extend the probation for one year or until the community service hours are finished for Trenton Hollister at a court hearing October 14.

Brock Flatland of Wheeler and Hollister, then of Dallas but now with a Boyceville address, pleaded guilty to the charges in October of 2010.

Hollister and Flatland were both 17 years old at the time of the incident and were charged in Dunn County with three felony counts of mistreating animals causing death and one misdemeanor count of intentionally mistreating animals.

Two felony counts of mistreating animals causing death and the misdemeanor count were dismissed but were read into the court record for sentencing.

At the sentencing hearing in October of 2010, Judge Smeltzer placed Hollister and Flatland on three years of probation and sentenced them to 150 hours of community service (50 hours each year) and 60 days of jail time (30 days to be served each summer) consecutive to the sentence from Barron County.

Hollister and Flatland also pleaded guilty in Barron County Circuit Court and were sentenced to three years of probation, 30 days in jail, and 25 hours of community service. The jail sentence in Barron County was to be served 10 days at a time during deer hunting season for three years.

The Barron County judge also ordered that the firearms used, including the scopes, were to be destroyed, and Flatland was ordered to pay Hollister’s grandfather and mother for one-half the fair market value of the destroyed firearms and scopes.

In Dunn County, Judge Smeltzer also ordered Hollister to go to school each and every day, and ordered both Hollister and Flatland to consume no alcohol, to send a letter of apology to each animal owner, and to participate in restorative justice with Hollister and Flatland to pay the costs associated with it.

The court subsequently ordered that $6,700 in restitution be paid.

Flatland told investigators that on the night in question, he and Hollister had been drinking beer at Flatland’s residence and that sometime after midnight, they left with the intention of poaching deer.

According to news reports, all of the animals either died or were so severely injured they had to be put down.