Posted: Dec 4, 2012 8:28 AM by MTN News
BILLINGS - Horse breeder James Leachman took the stand and spoke in his own defense in day six of his trial.
During five hours of testimony, Leachman told the jury he was unaware of the injured horses on his ranch and explained his livestock practices.
Leachman said he didn't remove his horses from the ranch after the land was sold because he believed he had the right of redemption for a year. He admitted to opening gates and removing locks to let his horses back into pastures with food and water.
Every time he went to the ranch to check on his horses, Leachman claimed he didn't see any injured horses or any injuries resulting from tight leg bands. If he did observe an injured horse, Leachman said the best option would be to put it down.
During Monday testimony, Leachman said he would use the leg bands again in the future.
"It didn't help it when the injury happened but they did not cause those and you don't have any bones, any autopsies, any information that proves otherwise," Leachman said.
During cross examination, the prosecuting attorneys questioned Leachman about his debts. Leachman said he refused to sell his horses during his time of hardship because he would only receive a fraction of what his horses were actually worth.
The trial is set to continue Tuesday. The judge is prepared to give directions to the jury on reaching a verdict.