Update February 22, 2012
Horse trainer Kelsey Lefever will avoid trial by entering a first-time offender program. She waived her preliminary hearing.
The Pennsylvania equestrian is accused of selling retired racehorses to horse slaughter after promising their owners to find them new homes and second careers.
Lefever faces two felony and two misdemeanor counts of theft by deception. A third felony count for deceptive business practices has been withdrawn.
Francis Chardo, Dauphin County First Assistant District Attorney says, “It would have been an abuse of discretion for me to deny her the [first offender] program since it is a theft case.”
Chardo says he will set conditions for Lefever including that she will never be allowed to work in the Pennsylvania racing industry and that she can have no involvement in purchasing, selling, or caring for other people’s horses for two years. Chardo mentioned probation officers will also do routine checks on the approximately twenty horses that Lefever owns.
Authorities allege that Lefever admits to sending more than a hundred horses to a slaughter buyer. This statement from Lefever came out as a part of the criminal case.
“I killed every one of those f–g horses, over 120 of them, if they only knew. I only have five left and the ones that you have. Every one of them is dead. I don’t even know their names and there wasn’t a g—-n thing they could do about it because they gave me those horses. I didn’t sign one contract for any of them and there is no paper trail from Bruce, so they have to prove it.”
Court documents allege she sold the horses to slaughter buyer Bruce Rotz, who ships horses to Canada for the international horse meat market.
Lefever will be arraigned on April 19. Her attorney, Michael Sheldon, says his client will plead not guilty.