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Animal cruelty defendant sentenced to prison

By Julie Bisbee Modified: September 23, 2008 at 4:45 pm •  Published: September 23, 2008

MEDFORD — A Grant County man who pleaded guilty to seven counts of animal cruelty has been sentenced to prison for allowing horses on his property to starve.

George Gilchrist, 44, pleaded guilty to the charges in June and was sentenced before a Grant County judge today. Judge Jack Hammontree sentenced Gilchrist to a five-year prison term. Gilchrist will serve two years behind bars and will be on probation for three years, according to the judge's sentence.

Gilchrist had been given a deferred sentence on a bogus check charge. The judge requested that Gilchrist be sentenced to a year in a county jail on that charge. His sentence will run concurrently with the sentence for the animal cruelty charges.

Prosecutors say Gilchrist had about 34 horses on his land. In late 2006, the sheriff seized seven horses that appeared to be starving, said Steven Young, assistant district attorney in Grant County. Three of the horses either died or had to be put down. Homes were found for the other four horses.

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