Former SAU rodeo student gets 10 more years in horse theft case - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Former SAU rodeo student gets 10 more years in horse theft case

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Jaci Rae Jackson, now 21, at her sentencing in Oklahoma. Jaci Rae Jackson, now 21, at her sentencing in Oklahoma.
SAU's Mulerider Stables, where horses were being kept SAU's Mulerider Stables, where horses were being kept
Two weeks after they were stolen, 4 of the horses were found abandoned and tied to pine trees in rural McCurtain County Oklahoma, malnourished and dehydrated, but alive. Two weeks after they were stolen, 4 of the horses were found abandoned and tied to pine trees in rural McCurtain County Oklahoma, malnourished and dehydrated, but alive.
Shaun Smith, SAU Rodeo Team Member and Credit Card (Courtesy Southern Arkansas University) Shaun Smith, SAU Rodeo Team Member and Credit Card (Courtesy Southern Arkansas University)
George Berish III, who was 18 at the time, is now out on parole and working his father's auto shop in Ashdown. George Berish III, who was 18 at the time, is now out on parole and working his father's auto shop in Ashdown.
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MAGNOLIA, AR (KSLA) -

There will be more jail time for Jaci Jackson, the former Southern Arkansas University rodeo team member already serving time in Oklahoma for her role in the theft of horses and equipment in 2011.

The horses were discovered in Oklahoma - including one that had been killed - and Jackson faced charges in both states. In Oklahoma, Jackson pleaded guilty to concealing stolen property and cruelty to animals and was sentenced last week to 42 months and 7 years probation.

Jackson appeared in Columbia County court Thursday morning for sentencing on 2 separate theft charges in connection with the case.

Judge Larry Chandler ordered Jackson to serve 2 consecutive 5-year sentences. She will began serving her time in Arkansas once she finishes serving her sentence in Oklahoma.

In addition to Jackson, 3 others have already been sentenced in connection with the case, including Jackson's mother. Wendi Cox was sentenced to 60 years behind bars following her conviction in March 2013. "She was the major instigator in this incident and Jaci just had a bad parent," says Jackson's attorney Mike Lusk. "Whatever she did was done at her mothers direction her involvement in the case was very slight."

Not everyone believes Jaci got what she deserved with that sentence. "I feel she should have got more than what she got, because she was behind it," says George Berish Jr. His son, George Berish III, is among those that have served time because of the thefts. "They got my son in trouble over it against his own will."

Berish, who was 18 at the time, is now out on parole and working his father's auto shop in Ashdown. He's hoping Jackson's sentencing will further clear his son's name and reputation.

At SAU, rodeo coach Rusty Hayes says he's relieved to see the ordeal come to an end. "It has been a long process. You don't think it would take that when long someone pleads guilty. We have been on this for over two years now. A lot of stress, a lot of worrying. Just glad to see this end."

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