2013-10-24 / Local & State

Pa. Farmer Convicted Again Of Starving Cattle

BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) – A central Pennsylvania farmer who appealed after he was found guilty for allowing beef cattle to starve last winter has been convicted again of the same charges.

Thomas Shawley, 56, of Milesburg, must return for sentencing Dec. 2.

A district judge convicted Shawley in July after he failed to appear for trial on 28 citations alleging animal abuse and failing to properly dispose of nine cattle found lying dead on his farm in February.

That judge sentenced Shawley to a total of one year and seven months to four years and nine months in prison after hearing evidence that state Department of Agriculture officials and those from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found more than 30 undernourished cattle in a muddy field with no feed available to them.

Shawley’s appeal moved the case to Centre County Common Pleas Court where a judge convicted him on Monday.

Centre County prosecutors said they’ll ask for the same sentence to be imposed in December.

Shawley’s defense attorney, Adam Witmer, did not immediately return a call seeking comment last Wednesday. Authorities have said Shawley told them caring for the animals had simply “gotten away from him.”

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