MIDDLEBURG — A Middleburg man facing trial on 84 counts of animal cruelty in Snyder County Court Tuesday accepted a plea deal.
John W. Stahl, 55, avoided the jury trial after the deal was reached more than an hour after the proceedings were set to begin with Senior Judge Dudley Anderson presiding.
Stahl was charged with felony aggravated animal cruelty, as well as misdemeanor and summary offenses after state police found several animals on his hobby farm in Washington Township were being kept in poor conditions without food or water.
Two calves later died, a husky had to have a leg amputated and a boxer needed emergency surgery after being left outside in extremely hot conditions in July without food or water, court records said.
Assistant prosecutor Matt Cravitz said under the plea deal, Stahl, who is represented by Sunbury attorney James Best, pleaded no contest to four counts of misdemeanor cruelty to animals, guilty to 12 counts of summary neglect of animals and guilty to 14 summary counts of not providing veterinarian care.
While 16 animals were seized, Stahl was allowed to keep animals that were not neglected.
He is not prohibited from owning animals, but Cravitz said the issue could be argued before the judge during the sentencing hearing which is scheduled to take place in early February.