Man accused of horse soring in court

Man accused of horse soring in court

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Larry Wheelon listens to court proceedings on Tuesday. Larry Wheelon listens to court proceedings on Tuesday.

MARYVILLE (WATE) - The man facing animal cruelty charges after being accused of soring almost 20 horses made his first appearance in court Tuesday.

Larry Wheelon appeared without a lawyer because lawyer Steven Williams has not decided whether he will represent Wheelon.

Wheelon was granted a continuance until May 14 to give him time to find new legal representation.

Officials from multiple rescue groups and law enforcement agencies responded last Thursday to Wheelon's farm after receiving a tip that animals there were being abused.

After responding, they found horses in visible pain and barely able to stand.

Wheelon was arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

According to the Blount County General Sessions Court Clerk, Wheelon has one other criminal charge and several civil cases on his record.

The criminal charge was for theft under $500 in 2005 and was later dismissed.

Wheelon also was involved in several civil suits for nonpayment on debt and breach of contract as well as another unknown charge. All but one have since been dismissed as well.

He is currently facing a civil suit with the Ford Motor Company. That case has not yet gone to court.

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