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January 20, 2014

Sentencing set in stolen horses case

MAGNOLIA, Ark. — A February sentencing date has been set in Columbia County Circuit Court in southern Arkansas for an Oklahoma woman who pleaded guilty to the theft of five horses and other items from the Southern Arkansas University rodeo team stables in Magnolia.

The Banner-News reports that Jaci Rae Jackson, 21, who was scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in the court in Magnolia, is now to be sentenced Feb. 6. She also faces a Jan. 27 sentencing date in McCurtain County, Okla., on charges connected to the case.

Prosecutors said Jackson faces up to 30 years in prison in Arkansas and up to 25 years in Oklahoma.

The charges stem from the November 2011 theft of five horses, a trailer and tack from the SAU stables. Four of the horses were found malnourished and emaciated in McCurtain County while the fifth was found dead with its throat cut.

Jackson’s sentencing has been delayed several times.

“The state of Arkansas has requested ... that we bring Ms. Jackson back for sentencing on Feb. 6, and we will not be asking for any delay beyond that date. If they don’t deal with it in Oklahoma, we’ll deal with it here,” deputy Prosecutor David Butler told Columbia County Circuit Court Judge Larry Chandler.

“It’s has been the hope and the intention of this court throughout almost the past year since Ms. Jackson entered her plea, to see what happened in Oklahoma before we proceeded with sentencing in this state,” said Chandler.

Jackson pleaded guilty in April in Arkansas to six counts of conspiracy to commit theft of property. She pleaded guilty in August in McCurtain County District Court in southeastern Oklahoma to conspiracy to commit theft of property, bringing stolen property across state lines, knowingly concealing stolen property and cruelty to animals.

Jackson’s mother, Wendi Cox, was convicted in March and sentenced to 60 years in prison for orchestrating the theft and allowing the animals to be hidden on her property in southeastern Oklahoma.

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