Traverse City Record-Eagle


November 9, 2012

Michigan in Brief: 11/09/2012

Horses seized, owner charged with neglect

COHOCTAH TOWNSHIP — Twelve horses have been removed from a Livingston County farm a day after their 70-year-old owner was in court on an animal neglect charge.

The horses were found Thursday without food or fresh water at Velva Wainscott's Cohoctah Township farm, northwest of Detroit.

They're being evaluated at an equine center and will be cared for by rescue organizations.

Wainscott was arraigned and freed on a $10,000 personal bond. She's due back in court next Wednesday.

Animal Control director Debbie Oberle tells WHMI-FM that complaints have been made for at least two years and "the neglect on the horses is becoming more and more apparent."

Wainscott disputes the claims, telling WILX-TV the horses were well cared for.

Court records show she pleaded guilty in 2003 to letting animals roam at large.

House OKs overhaul of indigent defense

LANSING — The Michigan House approved a bill Thursday to create a new system to oversee the delivery of legal representation to low-income defendants.

The measure that passed on a 71-36 vote would implement recommendations of Gov. Rick Snyder's commission on indigent defense. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

Michigan's decentralized approach to the appointment of lawyers for people who cannot afford them has been widely criticized as uneven and inadequate.

The bill would create a 14-member Michigan Indigent Defense Commission to oversee the appointment and monitor the performance of lawyers who represent low-income defendants.

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