Orange Co. Judge Sets Trial Date for Anne Goland

Posted: Updated: Dec 09, 2015 12:10 PM

An Orange County woman accused of starving dozens of animals will go to trial next year.

Wednesday morning, Judge Edward Carpenter set the trial date for 57-year-old Anne Goland, who also goes by Anne Shumate Williams. The judge also laid out a plan for the county to get rid of horses seized from Goland's Somerset farm.

Goland's trial is scheduled for February 19, 2016. She faces 27 animal cruelty charges following an October 19 raid on Peaceable Farm.

Investigators removed more than 80 horses and dozens of other animals from the farm. That includes 10 horses seized from Goland's care after veterinarians determined them to be near death.

Wednesday, Judge Carpenter gave the county permission to sell those horses, dispose of them, or return them to their owners.

Orange Co. Commonwealth's Attorney Diana O'Connell says her office has been bombarded with people claiming ownership of those horses.

Goland will not be able to buy back or take back these seized horses.

“There's been a lot of talk about animals dying. It is similar to a geriatric situation where animals in that condition simply die. There's been a finding of inadequate care. I'm not trying to squeeze out of that finding, but the fact is these animals belonged to Anne Shumate. They were her personal property,” said Thomas Purcell, Goland’s attorney.

The judge also ordered Goland to pay the county's bill for seizing the horses and caring for them until they find new homes. Purcell says that bill totals more than $10,000.

Goland's attorney also tells NBC29 he does not plan to put up much of a fight during the criminal trial on those animal cruelty charges.

Purcell did ask Judge Carpenter to schedule several hours to present evidence supporting Goland in the sentencing phase if she's found guilty.

Goland is currently free on bond.