Richardson pleads guilty to January arrow attack on Brooks horse

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The court date for Jeremy Ryan Richardson came Thursday, but there was no trial since the 17 year-old entered a plea of guilty in Fayette County Superior Court. The first-offender was given five years probation, 300 hours of community service and future financial restitution on a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals for the January incident in which he impaled a horse in Brooks with arrows.

300 hours of community service and future financial restitution on a felony charge of aggravated cruelty to animals for the January incident in which he impaled a horse in Brooks with arrows.

Richardson as a result of the guilty plea also receive a total of 60 days in jail and 12 months probation for misdemeanor offenses on unrelated wildlife violations.

Eight year-old mare Misty, owned by Brooks residents Nancy and Ralph Padovano, was attacked and shot multiple times with broadpoint arrows on Jan. 3. She was shot in the face near her right eye, in the left shoulder, while yet another arrow was shot into and through her neck and lodged there. But the most serious wound came from another arrow that lodged in Misty’s spine and required hours of surgery to remove. The effects of that wound will be permanent.

Richardson was arrested days after the shooting and appeared Thursday before Superior Court Judge Tommy Hankinson. Richardson bypassed a trial and entered a plea of guilty on charges of felony aggravated cruelty to animals along with four misdemeanor charges relating to wildlife infractions. Richardson for the felony was treated as a first-offender.

Judge Hankinson sentenced Richardson to five years probation for his admission of aggravated cruelty to animals and 300 hours of community service in setting related to animal care, along with future restitution that will be determined in another proceeding.

Hankinson on the four misdemeanor counts gave Richardson a concurrent sentence of 60 days in jail, 30 of which began within hours of the sentencing and with the final 30 days to be served on weekends.

“It’s hard to understand how this floated into your mind,” Hankinson said as he addressed Richardson. “I hope you’ve apologized to (the Padovano’s).”

Richardson indicated that he had not apologized, then turned briefly to Ralph and Nancy Padovano and said “I’m sorry.”

The Brooks couple during the proceeding both said they felt violated, with Nancy Padovano saying the incident will leave Misty impaired (paralyzed on a portion of her face) for life and that she and Ralph had not recovered and had not felt safe in their own home.

Many in the community, including other horse owners, believe there was more than one shooter involved in the attack. That belief is based on the nature and extent of the injuries, the nature of the animal that would preclude it from continuing to stand in place while being shot multiple times with enough force to impale an arrow through its neck and, finally, the wide-open pasture area available to Misty to flee the attack. To date, no one else has been charged in the attack.