(01/06/2013)
Roane County magistrate Ron White gave the county control of the surviving horses in an animal cruelty case during a hearing for Tory Morgan, 41, of Reedy.

The woman has been charged with 36 counts of animal cruelty.

Morgan has been charged with animal cruelty after more than a dozen dead horses were found on her Roane County farm.

About 20 horses were found still alive.

Lt. Jeff Smith of the Roane County Sheriff's Dewpartment testified that little feed was available for the horses and that they could not reach the hay bales that were in the adjacent field.

Lt. Smith also testified that 10 of the surviving horses were severely underweight.

Tory Morgan wanted a delayed hearing, saying she could not obtain papers showing she bought feed for the animals.

Investigators said one of the horses was found dead inside the barn near the camper where Morgan lived.

A prosecutor said that one horse drowned in 6 inches of water, indicating there was no excuse for that.

The state wants the ability to adopt out horses unless Morgan posts $400 a day for care while the legal case continues. The horses are being nourished at the former Spencer Livestock Barn.

Morgan will have five days to post the bond or officials can begin disposing of the animals.


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