The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Woman charged with animal cruelty sentenced to supervised probation


August 23, 2018

CLOVIS — A woman charged last year with felony extreme cruelty to animals was sentenced Wednesday to two years supervised probation through a plea agreement.

Twila Williams, 50, of Portales, was arrested in March in connection with an incident from August 2017 when one horse was found dead and eight other equines — five horses and three donkeys — malnourished in Curry County. She was charged then with a fourth-degree felony, but pleaded guilty this week to two misdemeanors through the agreement.

District Attorney Andrea Reeb said prosecutors “had an issue with proving intent,” so a plea was pursued in place of a trial.

In addition to the two years suspended jail time, Williams is required to obtain a mental health assessment and complete a “Benchmark Animal Rehabilitative Curriculum.” The agreement also states she “shall acquire no domesticated animals other than the ones she currently has” during her probation.

When she was initially charged in November, the investigating sheriff’s deputy said she “was going felony due to the severe neglect of these animals, and the fact that Williams had been repeatedly warned but refused to remedy the situation.”

Before finding the “severely decomposed” paint stud in August, Deputy Erica Romero said she recalled seeing the same horse alive two months earlier on a call “in reference to the animals not having any water.”

Romero wrote she was advised weeks later that Williams had relinquished the horses to the state.

Judge Fred Van Soelen called the agreement “a reasonable plea.”

Jeremiah Hall represented Williams in the hearing and Arwen Gaddis represented the state.


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