THE STATE OF ARKANSAS vs. WILLIAM WEBSTER HAMILTON

Hamilton, Berrish in Arkansas Court in SAU Horse Theft Case

Two defendants in the Arkansas stolen horse case appeared in an Arkansas court room today. William Webster “Billy” Hamilton and George Berrish III are being represented by a newly appointed public defender.

Columbia County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney David Butler said in open court that he believed Berrish had violated his house arrest terms and that officers will be stepping up their enforcement. If he does not comply with the terms of his house arrest, Butler says a warrant will be issued for his arrest. Berrish is to remain on house arrest for the next six months, and is only allow to leave his house for work and GED classes.

 Hamilton remains locked up and continues to be shuttled between Arkansas jails to make appearances in unrelated cases. He is currently behind bars in Columbia County. Both men are charged with four counts of theft of property over $5,000 and two counts of theft of property over $25,000.

The charges stem from the theft of five horses, a horse trailer, and tack from Mulerider Stables in November. Four of the horses were found in Oklahoma tied to trees, nearly starved. The mutilated remains of the fifth horse named Credit Card were found in a pasture nearby.

They are scheduled to be back in court on January 3, 2013.

Oklahoma authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Hamilton. He will have to answer to charges of animal cruelty, felon in possession of a firearm, bringing stolen property into the state, and knowingly concealing stolen property. It is not known when he will be extradited. Authorities in Oklahoma say their investigation is ongoing.