A Bloomfield man convicted of neglecting three horses, including one who died, has been sentenced to four months in jail and 100 hours of community service in a veterinary office.
Judge Ren?Chouteau sentenced Salvador Barrera, 35, on Nov. 26, the one-year anniversary of the horse's death. The horse, named Yiyo, died of colonic torsion, a painful intestinal twisting that if left untreated is fatal. A veterinarian testified during Barrera's trial that Yiyo was about 350 pounds underweight when he died after thrashing and kicking in his stall.
Barrera has been in custody since late October, when a jury found him guilty of one count of felony animal abuse and two counts of misdemeanor abuse in connection with three horses he kept with his girlfriend, Laura Valencia, 35.
An animal control officer and the vet testified during the trial that there was no hay or grain in the three horses' pen and a water bucket in the stall was dry.
The jury deadlocked on charges against Valencia, who later admitted maltreating one of the horses and was ordered to serve 20 volunteer hours in a veterinary clinic. The jury leaned 11-1 toward guilt on all three charges against her related to the horses.
During the sentencing last week, Barrera was also ordered to serve three years' probation and was prohibited from possessing any animals or weapons during that time. Barrera was a student in the local police academy when he was arrested in connection with the horse's death.
Chouteau also fined Barrera more than $1,500 for various court and probation fees.
Barrera could have been sentenced to as many as three years in prison.
With credit for time already served in Sonoma County Jail, Barrera likely will be released soon.
Two other horses authorities seized from Barrera and Valencia after Yiyo's death each gained 150 pounds in the first 30 days after they were seized, animal rescue personnel said.
You can reach Staff Writer L.A. Carter at 568-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.