Marathon Town Court Justice Edward Daughterty Wednesday night sentenced Dayton Wood to nine months in the Cortland County Jail and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine for his plea of guilty to one count of animal cruelty.
143 alpaca died early last year when he stopped doing his job of caring for them at a farm in Marathon.
Cortland County District Attorney Patrick Perfetti spoke after court saying, “The judge heard from both sides, I think he rendered a fair decision and we’re satisfied with it and we hope that the community’s satisfied with it.”
Perfetti had hoped for more jail time. “We were asking for a year, the maximum. The judge did impose the maximum fine, which was a thousand dollars and he will give Mr. Wood a period of time after he is released from incarceration to pay that.”
“I think the judge gave Mr. Wood some consideration for entering a plea and accepting responsibility and that’s certainly appropriate for a judge to do.”
Cortland County District Attorney Patrick Perfetti
The D-A told reporters outside Town Court that a motive doesn’t really affect prosecution. He said he hasn’t heard an explanation of why the alapaca were neglected.
“We cannot conceive of a situation that would explain the wasting-away of 143 animals such as this.”
Perfetti added that long after the initial investigation more animals were discovered dead on that farm and could not be connected to the alpaca deaths.
Wood’s defense lawyer had asked for a sentence of probation and community service.
The owner of the farm at one point estimated that the herd was worth at least a half-million dollars or more, but Perfetti said the owner never produced evidence of the herd’s value, which might have led to additional charges against Wood.