Investigators have arrested the person they call the “mastermind” in the Southern Arkansas University stolen horse case. Wendi Cox is locked up tonight in Arkansas awaiting a slew of charges to be filed against her in two counties.
Court documents state Cox, the mother of defendant Jaci Rae Jackson, devised the scheme to steal the rodeo horses with Billy Hamilton, her boyfriend. Authorities say the theft was ultimately about money. Jackson’s initial allegations regarding revenge after an attempted rape was a fabrication, according to investigators.
The month prior to the horse thefts Cox, Hamilton, and George Berrish III allegedly stole 15 head of cattle in Arkansas. They sold the stolen cattle in Oklahoma for $10,500, and Hamilton purchased a ring for Cox for $3,200.
After the cattle theft, Cox, Jackson, and the two men allegedly went to the Mulerider Stables to scope out the horses. The two men allegedly stole the horses, trailer, and tack using Cox’s truck.
Court documents state the four horses were turned loose in a wooded area close to Cox’s house prior to being recovered by authorities. Investigators say they believe Credit Card, the fifth horse, which was found dead and dismembered, was killed because it would be difficult to sell a horse that was “well known.”
Cox is facing three counts of theft of property over $25,000 and three counts of theft of property between $5,000-$25,000 in Columbia County. She is also facing charges in Little River County related to the alleged cattle theft.
In Oklahoma, she has been charged with knowingly receiving stolen property and animal cruelty in connection with Credit Card’s death. She is also charged in an unrelated arson case with arson in the second degree.
She is being held on $50,000 bond in Columbia County. She is scheduled to make her first appearance in court next Thursday.