Sentences given in animal cruelty case

Members of the St. Joseph County Animal Control Advisory Board expressed their disappointment Wednesday over this week’s sentencing of two suspects in an animal-cruelty case.
Two Mottville residents arrested in January 2015 pled guilty to torture of an animal based on negligence at their Barker Road residence.
On Monday, Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman sentenced Jessica Achberger, 40, and Troy Michael-James Leiby, 40, to 18 months of probation. They were ordered to pay more than $4,700 in restitution, while Achberger was sentenced to perform 50 hours of community service and Leiby 75 hours of community service.
Loralee Knepper, recording secretary for the advisory board, said she is disappointed in county prosecutor John McDonough for not pursuing a harsher sentence.
Emily Frohriep, chair of the advisory board, said she also was not happy with the sentencing.
Frohriep said pressure needs to be put on judges and the prosecutor’s office to punish animal-cruelty suspects more severely.
During a preliminary hearing in February, a Binder Park Zoo veterinarian testified that because of the health of one of the animals seized, a bettong had to be euthanized.

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