Shaunda (Shandy) Voyles appeared without an attorney before Judge Thomas Branford last week in a Lincoln County courtroom to face her punishment. In September, a jury found Voyles guilty of 18 counts of animal neglect and felon in possession of a firearm.
Judge Branford levied jail time against Voyles for the felon in possession of a firearm conviction. His instructions state Voyles must serve the entire 36 days and two-years supervised probation. She must also pay over $37,000 in restitution. The judgment awards $10,000 of that amount to Cascadia Equine Veterinary Clinic.
In 2011, more than thirty animals, including 17 horses, were seized from Voyles. Details regarding horses “not taken out of stalls for years,” horses standing in knee deep manure, and animals unable to eat the food they were provided because they lacked essential dental care, led to her conviction on all 18 counts of animal neglect.
On each count, Judge Branford gave Voyles a two day jail term suspended. He placed the defendant on bench probation for five years. During that period, Voyles is not allowed to own, posses, or care for any animal.
Prior to the seizure, the animals were kept on property owned by Voyles’s mother, Sarah Holmes Voyles. She was also charged. According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Michelle Branam, the elder Voyles entered into a diversion program for first time offenders.
Voyles is no stranger to the criminal legal system. She stole Rod Vilencia’s horse in 1993 while in California. Vilencia said he feels that the jail time is far too short in the case, but he’s sure the judge did what he felt was fair. “As a past crime victim … [of] this woman I am deeply relieved that she is temporarily locked away where during her incarceration she cannot victimize any other people in the horse community, and most importantly, where she cannot neglect any more horses.”
Voyles was charged in 2005 with felony theft by receiving in the first degree, felony forgery in the first degree, felony first degree computer crimes, and unauthorized use of someone else’s livestock, in connection with her crimes against Vilencia. In 2006, she pleaded guilty to felony forgery and received probation, fines, and a few days on a work crew.
Vilencia said, “Karma is the great equalizer… she has finally been punished as appropriately as the law would allow.”
The surviving animals that were seized found new homes.