The Union Recorder

Local News

April 23, 2014

Local man faces animal cruelty charges

MILLEDGEVILLE — A local man is charged with animal cruelty after reports were received by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office of neglected and deceased horses allegedly found on the man’s property.  

Malcolm Hughes, 55, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to Lt. Lee Williamson, who made the arrest.  

The investigation began when reports came in to the sheriff’s office that a neglected horse was seen at a Union Hill Church Road address.

“The animal was in a terrible state of neglect,” said Baldwin County Sheriff Bill Massee. “It appeared as if he hadn’t received any food or water in a long time.”

Once law enforcement arrived at the address officials discovered a second horse, deceased and in a state of decomposition.

This marks the second time Hughes has been charged with cruelty to animals, Massee said.

In 2009, law enforcement officials seized three horses from the same residence. The horses appeared to have been starved but were in a far more severe state of hunger than the current incident of alleged neglect. Massee said he will never forget the 2009 incident because it was “abundantly obvious that the animals had been severely mistreated.”

Officials also found a number of neglected dogs on the property with one deceased dog still chained.

Massee said in addition to the 2009 charges and the recent incident, the sheriff’s office had received other complaints in the past of neglect of animals on Hughes’ property. They were unable to obtain proof of neglect when investigating the past complaints.

“There were two occasions where we were told horses had died, but in our investigation we couldn’t find the horses anywhere at his home,” Massee said.

The sheriff’s office prepared a court order for the magistrate in Baldwin County to seize the horse and turn it over to the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

“It’s a sad case,” said Massee. “We want to do what we can to save this animal that managed to survive this abuse.”

After Hughes’ arrest, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, along with Williamson and Massee arrived to the property and took possession of the animal.

Hughes was arrested and as of presstime Tuesday was being processed by jail personnel. Massee said he will be prosecuted in the state court of Baldwin County for his charges.


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