Mahan sentenced for animal cruelty

Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2000

The Soldotna woman found guilty of animal cruelty early this month can still own an animal, but only one at a time, and it cannot be a horse.

The misdemeanor charge against Miriam Mahan, 36, stems from a Sept. 10, 1999, incident in which Alaska State Troopers and members of Alaska Equine Rescue seized 125 animals of 16 species from her home on Funny River Road.

Originally, Mahan faced nine counts of animal cruelty. Superior Court Judge Jonathan Link consolidated the charges, since they all stemmed from a single incident.

On March 13, Link handed down a suspended sentence of one year in prison and placed Mahan on probation for 10 years. During the time of her probation, she cannot own more than one animal at a time and is forbidden to own a horse.

Mahan also will be ordered to pay restitution at a later hearing. She is currently housed in Wildwood Correctional Center on other charges.

Assistant District Attorney John Wolfe said he expects the restitution amount to be between $20,000 and $30,000.

"I think it was an appropriate sentence under the circumstances," Wolfe said.

The defense had 30 days to file a notice of appeal after the guilty verdict was handed down March 2.

Defense Attorney Carol Brenckle was unavailable to comment Monday.

"I think this will pretty much wrap it up," Wolfe said.

Sarah Clampitt with Alaska Equine Rescue said Mahan's former animals are in foster care with her organization.

"I think (the sentencing) is a great moral victory," she said. "We (the public) have to look at the state statue for animal cruelty. We can't go through this again, it's really not fair for the animals."

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