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Man charged after dozens of cattle deaths gets probation

February 12, 2019

LEXINGTON, Neb. (AP) — One of three family members charged with animal cruelty following the deaths of dozens of cattle on a Nebraska farm has been given probation.

Dawson County District Court records say 60-year-old Eugene Wempen Sr. was sentenced Monday to 30 months of probation and barred from owning, possessing or residing with any animals for 15 years. He’d pleaded no contest to a lone count of animal abandonment or cruelty resulting in death.

He also was sentenced to 91 days of jail and credited for one day served. The remaining 90 days can be waived if he follows his probation terms.

His wife, Diane Wempen, and their 34-year-old son, Eugene Wempen Jr., have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial in May.

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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