Commissioner’s Animal Treatment Record Transferred to Precinct 3 Court

Visiting Justice of the Peace Treg Hudson of Mason County recently approved a change of venue to hear several complaints of alleged cruel animal treatment against Burnet County Precinct 3 Commissioner Billy Wall.

Hudson arrived in Burnet after Justice of the Peace 2 Lisa Whitehead signed a warrant to seize “cruelly treated animals,” which resulted in the removal of several cattle from property controlled by Wall.

More than 20 people watched the brief Sept. 16 hearing in the first-floor courtroom of the Burnet County Courthouse, when Judge Hudson granted a motion to move the case out of the town of Burnet and from Precinct 2 Court to Precinct 3 Court in Marble Falls. . The decision satisfied opposing attorneys, including Burnet’s attorney Eddie Shell, Wall’s representative, and Carson Walker, assistant.

Animal…

“Most of the cattle I saw were underweight and some ribs and hip bones could be seen.”

– Jason Jewett Livestock Assistant County Attorney Pro Tem.

Before Hudson decided, he allowed Shell and Walker to approach the bench. Their discussion could be heard throughout the courtroom.

Shell pointed out to the judge that Texas law states that “an action in a court of law must be brought in the county and precincts in which the defendant resides.”

Wall lives in Ward 3, not Ward 2, Shell told Hudson.

“So you have the law on your side? Hudson asked Shell.

“Oh, yes,” Shell replied.

Then Hudson ordered the location transferred. As such, the case will be brought before Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Jane Marie Hurst Court in Marble Falls at the South Annex, 810 Steve Hawkins Parkway.

“This is (precinct 3) the proper court,” Shell told the Bulletin.

No date was immediately set for the Precinct 3 hearing. The case began last month when Burnet County Livestock Deputy Jason Jewett began investigating complaints regarding cattle “unreasonably deprived of necessary food and care” on or near several acres allegedly managed by Wall in Burnet County at CR 336 and CR 337. “I observed approximately 12 cattle that could be seen from the road,” according to an affidavit from Jewett. “Most of the cattle I saw were underweight and some ribs and hip bones could be seen. Three of the cattle I observed had a very low weight and you could see most of the hips, spine and ribs Jewett discussed the complaints and his observations with Wall.

“He (Wall) agreed that he had cattle that were getting too thin, and he explained that he fed them hay,” Jewett recalled in the affidavit. “He had been feeding them around 200 round bales over the winter, but the drought conditions were making it worse, with no grass or hay produced.”

According to his affidavit, Jewett informed Wall that the time had come to “feed or sell” some of his livestock.

Later, through Sheriff Calvin Boyd, Jewett saw the image of a dead cow in a photograph submitted by an anonymous person. During his rounds, Jewett found the animal dead in a pond.

“The pond was on the corner of Massy Lane and CR 336,” Jewett recalled. “It’s the back part in the northeast corner.”

In addition, Jewett took his own photographs of cattle that would belong to Wall at CR 336, CR 337 (both in Compound 3) and others of his cattle that would belong to him at the 6000 block of West FM 243 ( enclosure 2).

“I didn’t enter the property,” Jewett said. “I only photographed the animals from my truck and public driveways.”

Several of the cattle he photographed looked very skinny, he added.

Jewett sent his photographs to Dr. Joe Paschal at Texas A&M University for evaluation. “I realize your county has had a severe drought, but an attempt should have been made to support these cattle,” Paschal told Jewett. Jewett asked for a warrant to seize the cattle. Judge Whitehead authorized the seizure warrant on September 7. The following day, several cattle were seized at Wall and transported to the Burnet County Fairgrounds.

A day later, County Attorney Eddie Arredondo filed a recusal for himself and his entire department in the Wall case.

Currently, Arredondo is representing all Burnet County commissioners (including Wall) in a nationwide lawsuit involving an election machinery dispute.

As such, there is “a real conflict of interest,” Arredondo explained.

Arredondo enlisted the help of Williamson County Attorney Doyle “Dee” Hobbs, and Hobbs appointed Walker to represent the State of Texas and Burnet County in the Wall case.

Boyd S. Abbott