By Charles Shiver
ADEL, Ga. – James Cornelius Mays, 48, of 305 N. MLK Drive, Adel, was arrested last week after allegedly riding a horse to death in the summer heat from Ray City to Adel.
Mays then dumped the carcass on another landowner’s private property, according to the Adel Police Department.
A felony warrant states that Mays was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals for causing the death of an eight-year-old, tan male horse by riding him from Ray City to his Adel residence on the afternoon of Sunday, Aug. 4.
Adel Police Chief Investigator Lt. Chris Griffin gave the following account of the offenses:
A complainant called 911 to report that a horse was lying in a ditch at Register Road and Highway 37. A deputy sheriff responded, but found the horse standing. Mays continued to ride the horse towards Adel.
Another complainant later called 911 to report that a man was on top of a horse and whipping the animal with a stick, in the area of Brookside Drive. Again, officers responded and found the horse appeared to be unscathed.
Finally, officers responded to reports of a horse lying in the road on North MLK. They found the horse’s body lying partially in the street and partially in the grass.
Officer Katlyn Sumner took out the aggravated cruelty to animals warrant against Mays. The accused had been riding the horse in 92 degree weather, without water and with no rest, from Ray City, Lt. Griffin said.
Mays was arrested Monday, Aug. 5, and released from jail Tuesday, Aug. 6, on an $11,200 property bond, with the case pending in Superior Court.
According to information reported during the first appearance/bond hearing in Magistrate Court, Mays has resided 19 years at his current address, has completed school through the 11th grade, and is unemployed. He had no attorney at the time of the bond hearing and wished to contact an attorney before answering any questions from the magistrate judge, court records state.
According to Lt. Griffin, when questioned by officers, Mays stated that the horse had never been loaded into a trailer for transport before and he couldn’t get the horse into a trailer, so he chose to ride the horse to his Adel property. Mays was trying to get the stud horse away from mares, Lt. Griffin said. Mays stated that he owns other horses but they are in another jurisdiction than Adel, the investigator added.
The horse’s body was later found “hidden” in a brushy area at the end of Bill Street, Lt. Griffin said. He added that the property owner didn’t give Mays permission to “dump” the carcass there.
Authorities loaded the horse’s body up and transported it to a veterinary diagnostic lab in Tifton for a necropsy, to confirm the cause of death, Lt. Griffin said.
Mays was rearrested Friday, Aug. 9, by Adel Police and charged with abandonment of a dead animal, a misdemeanor. He was released the same day on a $1,520 property bond, with the case pending in Superior Court.
SOURCE: Charles Shiver is the editor for The Adel News-Tribune where this article first appeared