Helena Valley horse breeder guilty of aggravated animal cruelty

Nolan Lister

A jury found Robert Erickson, owner of a Helena Valley quarter-horse breeding operation, guilty of felony aggravated animal cruelty Wednesday in Lewis and Clark County District Court.

Robert Erickson and his sons, Alan and Clayton Erickson, ran a quarter-horse breeding operation that was raided by the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office on June 1. Nearly 60 horses were seized by sheriff’s deputies, a U.S. Forest Service ranger and a Department of Livestock employee.

County-contracted veterinarians determined many of the horses exhibited signs of neglect. One of the horses had to be euthanized while in Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office custody as a result of the neglect.

Nearly 60 horses were seized by the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

All three men were charged with aggravated animal cruelty.

Alan Erickson previously took a deal in exchange for his guilty plea. If the agreement is accepted by presiding Judge Kathy Seeley, both Alan and Robert Erickson are scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. June 22.

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