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Deal reached in horse cruelty case

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – The woman who admitted she denied adequate care to more than 50 horses and other animals on her Dinwiddie County property reached a deal with prosecutors in court Monday.

According to CBS 6 senior reporter Wayne Covil, Sara Johnson acknowledged that had her case gone to trial today, she would have been found guilty of 10 of the 20 counts against her.

Instead, her case was continued until September 2013. At that time, the charges would be dropped if Johnson follows the rules established in court.

As part of the agreement, Johnson will pay $15,000 in restitution to help pay for the animals’ care. Johnson will be allowed to care for the animals that were not seized from her property earlier this year, but she is not allowed to pick up any new animals for at least the next two years.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Lisa Caruso says she had to weigh all the parts of this case and that the agreement she believed was the best way to go at this time.

She adds the case comes back to court on September 30 of next year, at which time Johnson will have had a year to care for her horses and to show the court that she can handle the job.

In June, Johnson was charged with 20 counts of of misdemeanor animal cruelty. One month earlier Dinwiddie County Animal Control seized horses, donkeys and dogs from Johnson’s property.

This is a developing story.

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