Colorado Springs

Judge sentences Brunzell to 60 days in jail, no work release

Sherri Brunzell back in court

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - El Paso County Judge Stephen Sletta sentenced Sherri Brunzell to 60 days in jail, without work release Thursday.

It's been close to two years since Brunzell's last sentencing hearing in 2015.

Brunzell was convicted on eight counts of animal abuse back in May of 2015, and then sentenced to 60 days and five years of probation the following May.

Investigators found 14 horse carcasses in Brunzell's barn back in 2014. Evidence showed the horses weren't given basic dental care, the horses had mouths full of ulcers, and couldn't eat properly.

Prosecutors also said deep piles of manure were inside the barn at the time, there was no ventilation, and some horses were walking around other carcasses. Although, the defense attorneys said the animals weren't in imminent danger.

According to court documents obtained by KRDO NewsChannel 13, Brunzell said the horses died of colic over a year and a half and she didn't have the money to remove the animals.

After Brunzell was sentenced back in August of 2015, the defense appealed it to prevent Brunzell from getting jail time.

The district court judge denied that appeal and the state supreme court refused to hear the case.

This prompted the sentencing hearing to be postponed until Thursday morning.

Defense Attorney, Andrew Bryant, requested a lesser sentence and a work release for Brunzell. 

Prosecuting Attorney, Shannon Gerhart, fired back requesting six months jail time and objected any work release. 

"You know the biggest deal outside of jail is a probation sentence so that she can't own any large animals, including horses," said Gerhart.

Judge Sletta said he struggled with determining this sentence, but stood by 60 days in jail without work release.

"I'm just really glad to see the verdict is going to stand and that this case is done," said Anna Blake, an animal activist.

Brunzell's jail time is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and run for 60 days. Probation will be enforced until 2020.

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