Court hands down verdict

May 07, 2014 10:47 am


Dr. Joel Rice sentenced to two days in jail, 369 hours of community service for August 2013 cattle shootings

La Grande psychiatrist Dr. Joel Rice was sentenced Wednesday morning to two days in jail and 369 hours of community service for shooting trespass cattle in August 2013.

Rice pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree animal abuse prior to the sentence. An agreement between Wallowa District Attorney Mona Williams and defense attorney Wes Williams called for five of those counts that were previously felonies to be reduced to Class A misdemeanors. The other two counts were already misdemeanors.

Visiting Judge Lung S. Hung ordered Rice to 24 months bench probation and a $250 fine for each of the seven charges.

Mona Williams had requested that Rice be sentenced to 35 days in jail, with 33 of those days eligible for alternatives like work crew or house arrest. Hung, who heard the case via video conference, said those alternatives would not benefit the community and instead added hours to the state requested 105 hours of community service.

(For full story, see Wednesday's edition of The Observer)