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Jury Splits on Animal Cruelty Verdict

The jury has returned a verdict in the trial of a Big Oak Valley man who was facing 5 counts of animal cruelty related to his livestock and animals that were found sick, injured and barely surviving in squalid conditions. District Attorney Cliff Newell says the jury found Louis Silva Jr. guilty of two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty but there was a hung jury on the 3 felony animal cruelty counts.

“We can accept the outcome as it is and just go away with the misdemeanor convictions and have a sentence based on that by the judge, or we’ll meet with the defense counsel and the defendant in a couple weeks in a pre trial and either decided to go back and try the felony counts again or come up to some compromise resolution.” 

Animal control officers had been called to Silva’s Patino Road property west of Penn Valley in March of last year to check on the Llamas. One Llama had to be euthanized.  While on the property they also discovered a horse with a broken limb that has since been adopted out. Other animals were standing in pens that hadn’t been cleaned properly with food and water supplies that were contaminated.

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