Pair sentenced for abuse, drugs
A Crooked River Ranch man, who was arrested Oct. 3, on charges of animal neglect, which expanded to include mistreatment and drug charges, was sentenced Nov. 15, to nearly a year in jail.
Jonothan Michael Vance, 37, pleaded no contest to two counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment, Class C felonies, which occurred on July 11, and felon in possession of a firearm, a Class C felony, unlawful manufacture of a marijuana item, a Class B felony, and four counts of possession of a domestic animal in violation of prohibition, Class C misdemeanors, all of which occurred on Oct. 3.
On Nov. 15, Circuit Court Judge Dan Ahern sentenced Vance to 11 months in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, and three years of supervised probation.
Two counts each of strangulation, fourth-degree assault, harassment, and endangering the welfare of a minor, and 54 counts of possession of a domestic animal in violation of prohibition were all dismissed.
The mistreatment on July 11, involved two young teen children, one of which he choked until "things started to go black," and "legs were getting weak," according to a deputy's investigation. Vance is not allowed to have contact with the minor children.
Vance and his wife, Mellody A. Barnes, were also on supervised probation for animal neglect, which had occurred between 2012 and June 5, 2013. The two had been sentenced on April 3, 2014, for second-degree animal neglect, and weren't allowed to possess any domestic animals for five years.
Law enforcement officers discovered that the pair had animals at their residence — at least 54, including six dogs, four cats, four rats, two snakes, and 20 fish — and executed a search warrant on Oct. 3.
Additionally, deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office found an illegal marijuana operation, which was being used to produce butane hash oil, and a firearm, which Vance, a felon, was not allowed to possess.
Mellody Barnes pleaded guilty Nov. 1, to attempting to commit a Class B felony — unlawful manufacture of a marijuana item, a Class C felony, two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, Class A misdemeanors, and four counts of possession of a domestic animal in violation of prohibition, Class C misdemeanors, all of which occurred on or about Oct. 3.
On Nov. 1, Ahern sentenced Barnes to 30 days in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, and two years of supervised probation. Fifty-four additional counts of possession of a domestic animal were dismissed.