Update: Court Needs Another Day in Peaceable Farm Animal Cruelty Case
The trial of Anne Shumate Williams, who is charged with 27 counts of animal cruelty after a raid on her farm in Orange County, will continue into a second day.
ORANGE, Va. (WVIR) - The trial of a woman charged with more than 20 counts of animal cruelty after a raid on her farm in Orange County will continue into a second day.
Anne Shumate Williams (aka Anne Goland) is accused of allowing horses, cats, dogs, and chickens in her care at Peaceable Farm to deteriorate or even die. She appeared in Orange General District Court Tuesday, October 31, to stand trial for 27 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.
The charges stem from when deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office led a raid at Peaceable Farm on October 19, 2015. Authorities discovered over a hundred horses, as well as many other animals, on the Somerset property. More cats were later found inside a neglected house on the farm’s property.
Thirteen witnesses have so far testified for the prosecution, including four veterinarians.
One of the veterinarians testified three horses at Peaceable Farm suffered from "long starvation," and that some euthanized horses had "significant painful" injuries. Defense attorney Joseph King questioned if there was a way to tell the condition of the horses before they came to farm, which the veterinarian said no.
The defense is trying to build a case that these horses were in bad shape before they came to Shumate Williams’ care at Peaceable Farm.
An investigator with the sheriff’s office testified there was no live grass, feed or hay on the entire 100-acre property.
The court saw investigators’ body camera footage from the farm, as well as the conditions inside Shumate Williams' home. The video footage showed animal waste, dead and decaying cats, dogs, and chickens. Skeletal remains could also be seen on the floors. Authorities described the smell as "vile."
Investigators even discovered cat carcasses in a bathtub and smashed between shelves.
In the body camera footage, a deputy asked Shumate Williams to help him understand why there were so many dead animals in her house. She responded, "I don't know that you could."
Horse trainer Tommy Doyle took the witness stand Tuesday, describing to the court how he saw no food or water in a barn during the raid. Doyle said some of the horses were eating wood from the stalls.
Shumate Williams eventually surrendered over 80 horses, 28 cats, and 7 dogs over the course of a few days. A judge approved a $75,000 bond on the afternoon of November 13, 2015, which Shumate Williams posted by that evening.
The judge will continue to hear evidence from the defense team Wednesday, November 1.
Shumate Williams is also facing 13 felonious counts of embezzlement. Investigators believe she took funds that were meant for Peaceable Farm, which was operating as a nonprofit animal rescue.