Animal Cruelty Trial Underway

A trial in an animal cruelty case involving multiple animals seized from a couple of rural Saline County properties is underway.

Opening statements and testimony began Wednesday afternoon in Saline County District Court.

The case dates back to April, when authorities executed search warrants for a pasture located southeast of Salina at Lapsley Road and Woodward Road plus a residence in the 5000 block of Country Club Road and seized 189 animals.

At the time deputies arrested 40-year-old Matthew Fullen and 66-year-old Beverly Fullen on four counts for felony cruelty to animals plus 165 counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals after officers allegedly found 30 horses and 96 cows in poor health on their pasture, some were deceased.

Deputies also seized 39 more horses and cattle from the County Club Road property along with 24 domesticated animals that included a mix of dogs, cats and rabbits.

The investigation began when a concerned citizen reported seeing dead cattle in the pasture.

During opening arguments the Saline County Attorney’s office told jurors they will clearly see this isĀ  case of abuse. The defense said there was no criminal intent of abuse, and this is a case of rushing to judgement before all the facts were known.

The trial continues on Thursday.