A La Plata County woman originally charged with more than 100 counts of animal cruelty pleaded guilty Thursday to only five counts of animal cruelty, and faces a sentence of two to five years’ probation.
“It’s a difficult case for the community,” said District Attorney Christian Champagne. “She put a lot of animals at risk and in danger, and hurt those animals.”
In November 2017, authorities executed a massive animal seizure on the property of Elizabeth and Jeffery Jackson in southwestern La Plata County after a lengthy investigation into the mistreatment of animals.
Initially, the couple – who are being tried separately – were charged with more than 100 counts of animal cruelty.
In August 2018, however, those charges were reduced to just 31 counts of animal cruelty after prosecutors with the 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office reassessed the case based on evidence collected at the scene.
In a September 2018 court filing, it came to light the animals lived in cages filled with urine and feces, had injuries that went untreated and lacked access to food and water. In one instance, a horse was in such poor condition it had to be euthanized.
Elizabeth Jackson, who is also referred to in court records by her maiden name, Miera, was set to stand trial next week. On Thursday, however, she signed a plea agreement in which she admits guilt to five counts of animal cruelty.
Assistant District Attorney David Ottman declined to comment about the specifics of the case.
Elizabeth Jackson will be sentenced Aug. 9. Ottman said she faces two to five years of probation under terms of the plea agreement. During that time, she cannot possess any animals. If she violates the terms of her probation, she could face a jail sentence of one to two years, Ottman said.
Jeffery Jackson still has a three-day jury trial scheduled to start July 25, court records show.
Attempts to reach the Jacksons were not successful late Friday.