Herring secures more convictions in animal cruelty cases

Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that his Animal Law Unit secured seven more convictions in animal cruelty cases in Mecklenburg and Buckingham counties. Attorney General Herring and his Animal Law Unit secured three convictions in Mecklenburg and Lunenburg counties in June related to similar abuses at a Tyson breeder farm.

mark herring“These convictions send a clear, strong signal across the Commonwealth that my team and I take these crimes seriously, and that those who commit cruelty to animals will be held accountable for their actions,” said Attorney General Mark Herring. “Mistreatment of animals is both inhumane and illegal, and I’m glad to see the perpetrators of these crimes brought to justice.”

“Compassion Over Killing applauds the prosecution’s work and the decisions from the court to uphold anti-cruelty laws and protect animals from such horrific cruelty to birds as documented by our undercover investigator working for Tyson,” said Cheryl Leahy, General Counsel for Compassion Over Killing.  “This is a landmark victory in achieving justice for farm animals.”

Those convicted are:

  • Samuel Downs, age 42, of Crewe, Va. Downs pled guilty in Mecklenburg Circuit Court to animal cruelty and received 30 days in jail with all 30 days suspended, on the condition that he cannot work with animals for one year. Downs also pled no contest to animal cruelty in Buckingham Circuit Court and received 30 days with all 30 days suspended, on the condition that he cannot work with animals for one year.
  • Tyrone Delaney, age 44, of Amelia, Va. Delaney pled guilty in Mecklenburg Circuit Court to two counts of animal cruelty and received 12 months in jail with all 12 months suspended on the condition that he does not work with animals for one year. Delaney also pled no contest to two counts of animal cruelty in Buckingham Circuit Court and received 12 months in jail with all 12 months suspended on the condition that he does not work with animals for one year.
  • Robin Bowen, age 61, of Crewe, Va. Bowen pled guilty in Mecklenburg Circuit Court to 12 months in jail with all 12 months suspended, and he cannot work with animals for one year. Bowen also pled no contest to animal cruelty in Buckingham Circuit Court and received 12 months in jail with all 12 months suspended on the condition that he does not work with animals for one year.
  • Jacob Sorrell, age 21, of Redford, Ny. Sorrell pled guilty in Mecklenburg Circuit Court to two counts of animal cruelty and received 12 months in jail with all 12 months suspended on the condition that he cannot work with animals for 5 years.
  • William Atkins, age 43, of Rice, Va. Atkins pled no contest to animal cruelty in Mecklenburg Circuit Court and received 30 days with all 30 days suspended, on the condition that he cannot work with animals for one year. Atkins also pled no contest to animal cruelty in Buckingham Circuit Court, and received 30 days in jail with all 30 days suspended on the condition that he cannot work with animals for one year.
  • Judy Atkins, age 62, of Rice, Va. Atkins pled “facts sufficient to convict” in Buckingham Circuit Court, and had her case taken under advisement for one year on the condition that she not work with animals for one year.
  • Trent Johnson, age 56, of Drakes Branch, Va. Johnson pled no contest to animal cruelty in Buckingham Circuit Court and received 30 days in jail with all 30 days suspended for 2 years on the condition that he not supervise any crew working with animals for 2 years. Johnson was also found guilty in Lunenburg Circuit Court in June of two counts of cruelty to animals for mistreatment of chickens at the Tyson breeder farm which he owned. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail with all 30 days suspended for a period of two years. He is not allowed to supervise any chicken production crew for a period of two years.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Michelle Welch and Assistant Attorney General Kelci Block prosecuted the cases for the Office of the Attorney General.

Attorney General Herring established a first of its kind Animal Law Unit in January 2015. It has been recognized by the Norfolk SPCA and the Animal Legal Defense Fund for its groundbreaking trainings, complex investigations, and prosecutions of animal cruelty.



augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.