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Nebraska man accused of animal cruelty takes plea deal

December 19, 2018
FILE - This undated photo provided by Dawson County Sheriff's Office in Lexington, Neb., shows Eugene Wempen Sr. A February 2019 sentencing has been scheduled for Wempen, one of three family members charged with animal cruelty, following the deaths of dozens of cattle on their Nebraska farm. Dawson County District Court records say Wempen Sr., of Overton, pleaded no contest to a lone count of animal abandonment or cruelty resulting in death. (Dawson County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
FILE - This undated photo provided by Dawson County Sheriff's Office in Lexington, Neb., shows Eugene Wempen Sr. A February 2019 sentencing has been scheduled for Wempen, one of three family members charged with animal cruelty, following the deaths of dozens of cattle on their Nebraska farm. Dawson County District Court records say Wempen Sr., of Overton, pleaded no contest to a lone count of animal abandonment or cruelty resulting in death. (Dawson County Sheriff's Office via AP, File)

OVERTON, Neb. (AP) — A February sentencing has been scheduled for one of three family members charged with animal cruelty following the deaths of dozens of cattle on their Nebraska farm.

Dawson County District Court records say 60-year-old Eugene Wempen Sr., of Overton, pleaded no contest to a lone count of animal abandonment or cruelty resulting in death. Prosecutors dropped seven other counts in return. His sentencing is set for Feb. 11.

His 60-year-old wife, Diane Wempen, and their 34-year-old son, Eugene Wempen Jr., have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial set to begin March 12 in Lexington.

Deputies reported finding at least 65 carcasses on the Wempen property near Overton, about 150 miles (240 kilometers) west of Lincoln. About 75 live cattle, along with llamas, donkeys, miniature ponies, horses, goats and sheep, were relocated.

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