Mistrial in animal cruelty case

Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2003

SHELBY, Mont. - Jurors in the animal cruelty case against an Alaska couple couldn't reach a unanimous decision Wednesday and a mistrial was declared.

Prosecutors were unsure whether they would press for another trial after five of the six jurors voted for acquittal.

The Justice Court case of Nikiski residents Jon Harman and Athena Lethcoe-Harman drew wide attention after they were arrested trying to cross the border Oct. 31 with a tractor-trailer carrying about 180 animals, most of them collie dogs. Witnesses testified the animals were malnourished and not properly cared for. The Harmans were charged with 181 counts of animal cruelty.

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