Circuit court is next in animal cruelty case

The fate of two Mottville Township residents charged with mistreatment of animals will be decided by a circuit court jury following a two-day preliminary examination that concluded Wednesday.
District court Judge Jeff Middleton said the home where Jessica Archberger and Troy Leiby lived with several exotic animals “could be construed as an animal torture chamber.”
Each faces five counts of obstruction of justice, five counts of animal torture and one count of animal cruelty to 10 or more animals. Achberger also has been issued 11 misdemeanor citations for owning exotic animals in St. Joseph County.
The two remain free on bond.
Wednesday’s hearing was the conclusion of a two-day preliminary examination that began Feb. 16.
A plea deal was made to Achberger and Leiby, but the offer was rejected.

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