One man sentenced in large animal cruelty case in Dawson County

    (Dawson County Jail)

    One man has been sentenced for his role in a large animal cruelty case in Dawson County, while two others are awaiting trial.

    Court records say 60-year-old Eugene Wempen, Sr., of Overton, was sentenced to a suspended 91 days in jail with credit for one day served. If he doesn't violate any conditions of his sentence, the jail time could be waived. He was also ordered to pay $666 within 60 days and report to the District Court of Dawson County on April 17 if it hasn't been paid by then. If he fails to appear, court documents say an arrest warrant will be issued. He was also sentenced to 30 months of probation and barred from owning, possessing or residing with any animals for 15 years.

    Wempen pleaded no contest to a lone count of animal abandonment or cruelty resulting in death. Prosecutors dropped seven other counts in return.

    His 60-year-old wife, Diane Wempen, and their 34-year-old son, Eugene Wempen Jr., have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial set to begin May 7 in Lexington.

    Deputies reported finding at least 65 carcasses on the Wempen property near Overton on April 17. About 75 malnourished live cattle, along with llamas, donkeys, miniature ponies, horses, goats and sheep, were relocated.

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