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story.lead_photo.caption Magan Terry - Photo by Miller County sheriff's office

An Arkansas woman who authorities say starved three dogs to death and negligently caused the death of a fourth pleaded guilty Thursday to multiple counts of animal cruelty and received a five-year term of probation.

Magan Terry, 29, appeared before Circuit Judge Carlton Jones with Texarkana lawyer Matt Stephens. Terry entered pleas of guilty to three counts of aggravated animal cruelty and a single count of misdemeanor animal cruelty. As the sentencing hearing progressed, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell told the court she did not approve of the defense's request to sentence Terry under Act 346.

Act 346 allows judges to give first-time offenders a shot a felony-free criminal history. If an offender successfully completes a term of probation, the offender can petition the court for expungement of the conviction and if granted, live life after probation with all the rights enjoyed by non-felon U.S. citizens. Those rights may involve serving on a jury, in public office and owning or possessing a firearm and a felony conviction can negatively impact a person's employment prospects.

Stephens argued that Terry should qualify. Mitchell pointed out that Terry's plea is to three felonies and involves the "deliberate" starvation and dehydration of three canines.

"This was a deliberate act," Mitchell said. "She starved and/or allowed to dehydrate three dogs in her care. The fourth passed while in the care of Animal Care and Adoption."

Mitchell went on to describe one of the more gruesome discoveries made by animal control officers on Terry's property July 9.

"One of the dogs was in a Rubbermaid tub taped shut," Mitchell argued. "She said she put the dog in the tub after its death. I don't know if it was placed there prior."

The two other dogs were found in a closed bedroom in an advanced state of decay.

"Two of the dogs were decomposed to the point we couldn't identify their genders or their breeds," Mitchell said. "All that was left was a pile of fur."

When addressing the court, Terry said she believed a friend was caring for the animals while she was away caring for her mother after a stroke. Terry said she put one of the dead animals in the plastic tote because she couldn't afford the carcass collection fee to animal control and was unable to bury it.

Mitchell said that the condition of the one live pit bull seized and the decomposition evident in the three other dogs led her to question whether Terry was being truthful with the court.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the pit bull seized from Terry's home was emaciated and "appeared to be completely covered with fleas to the point that its back appeared to be black and the fleas appeared to move in waves across its body." The stench of animal waste and decomposition was so strong that animal control officers donned hazardous materials suits before entering Terry's house.

Jones eventually decided Terry would not receive sentencing under Act 346. Jones did advise Terry, however, that other mechanisms exist under Arkansas law to expunge felony convictions following successful completion of probation and encouraged her to explore her options.

In addition to serving a five-year term of probation, Terry must pay a $1,500 fine and various court costs. She is prohibited from possessing any animals while on probation.

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Comments

  • Jfish
    September 21, 2018 at 11:20 a.m.

    Your justice system at work, she looks really remorseful and probably hasn't missed a meal in a while.

  • RPC2
    September 21, 2018 at 11:25 a.m.

    I would say they should starve her fat ass to death as a penalty but from looking at her she would still live longer than she deserves. Trash!

  • SJB
    September 21, 2018 at 12:07 p.m.

    If she thought a friend was feeding and tending to the animals...was the friend named? Was there any proof of the friend committing? Was there a text, email, snail mail or phone record? Did she ever contact the friend to see if more food needed to be purchased, shots updated or just how are they doing? Was the friend in court ready to testify? Can the rest of the world see or hear the "friend"? SMH!

  • Shaunau2
    September 21, 2018 at 1:13 p.m.

    She is a disgusting human being. She gets no punishment for torturing those poor animals. I hope karma smacks her in the face. Stupid cow!

  • MILLIEA55
    September 21, 2018 at 1:16 p.m.

    Are you kidding me!! This woman should’ve been locked up for the rest of her life at the very least!! This judge should be disbarred! Arkansas needs MUCH stiffer Animal Abuse laws if this is any example!! She did these things to these innocent animals....she’d do it to a child....maybe your child!!

  • Nljwbailey06081103
    September 21, 2018 at 1:18 p.m.

    I don't know the judge in this case, but they need to take a good look in the mirror. Probation for starving three innocent animals????? I hope I never meet you because you will leave with a good tongue lashing. You are as disgusting a person as the witch that starved the dogs.

  • Murphy01
    September 21, 2018 at 1:21 p.m.

    I second the thoughts of RPC2. Well said.

  • itsmecdd4321
    September 21, 2018 at 1:31 p.m.

    I think she should be put in a cage and tape it shut and not feed her for a long time!A BAD person.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    September 21, 2018 at 2:30 p.m.

    Just a reminder the last Fayetteville male charged with these same charges to prison time.
    so you who act like inequality is everywhere else.....

  • LR1955
    September 21, 2018 at 5:39 p.m.

    She’s an abomination!
    At the very least, should have been no animal ownership ever again.

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