August 16, 2018
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Columbia Falls man facing animal cruelty charges among those indicted in Washington County

By Tim Cox, BDN Staff
Updated:

MACHIAS, Maine — A Columbia Falls man who recently was indicted by the Washington County grand jury is expected to go on trial in November on charges of animal cruelty involving a horse.

Chester Grant, 54, was indicted on three counts: animal cruelty, aggravated animal cruelty and assault. The charges were filed in connection with an incident on Grant’s property on June 1.

Grant is accused of repeatedly hitting the horse with a board, according to Assistant District Attorney Chris Chu. He then allegedly tied the animal to his car with a short lead and drove, forcing the horse to run alongside while Joanne Champney, animal control officer for the town of Columbia Falls, ordered him to stop, according to Chu.

The horse was forced to run with the vehicle for “a few minutes,” Chu said Tuesday, at speeds up to 35 mph. The animal slammed into the side of the vehicle several times, he said.

Grant also is accused of pushing or slapping Champney’s hand away when she was trying to take the horse from him after he stopped his car, said Chu, who expects the case to go to trial in November.

The town of Columbia Falls subsequently took possession of the horse. In a civil hearing June 13 in Machias District Court, Judge David Mitchell ruled the horse had been abused, according to Chu. Mitchell gave possession of the horse to the town of Columbia Falls and ordered Grant to pay expenses for taking care of the animal.

In addition to Grant, the following people were indicted by the grand jury in September:

Albion Brown, 41, Berwick, operating after revocation, improper license plates.

Matthew Pinkham, 21, Milbridge, burglary, theft by unauthorized taking.

Kristopher Preston, 27, Roque Bluffs, operating after revocation, violating condition of release.

Donald Riley, 66, Calais, burglary.

Isaac Robbins, 21, Machias, assault on an officer, domestic violence terrorizing, violating condition of release.

Chad Robinson, 29, Charlotte, aggravated assault.

Larry Smith, 22, Milbridge, burglary, theft by unauthorized taking.

Corey Townsend, 24, Perry, operation after revocation.


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