powers farm\horse abuse
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Animal Lover

North Berwick, ME

#1 Aug 13, 2009
ST. JOHNSBURY - Keith Powers, 54, of Waterford and Jessica Chernicki, 31, of Franconia N.H., pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of aggravated cruelty to animals.

According to Caledonia County Sheriff's Sgt. William O'Hare's affidavit, at about 3 p.m. June 19 both Powers and Chernicki went to a barn off Scott Highway in Groton. At the barn, which is rented by Kristine Gibney, 42, of Groton, was a mare Gibney agreed to give Powers in exchange for another horse.

Caledonia District Court

Powers and Chernicki attached a rope to the 12-year-old mustang mare known as "Chevelle Noir." The rope was attached to her head and run through the trailer to take up tension as the mare was loaded.

Chernicki used a whip about 6 feet long to continually whip the mare to get her on the trailer. The mare refused to enter the trailer despite being whipped and having the rope pulled.

Witnesses told Powers and Chernicki to stop hurting the mare, but Powers and Chernicki continued. Witnesses said the mare crashed through a wooden fence, violently flipped over backwards, fell on the ground and crashed into the trailer several times.

During the loading process, the mare suffered a serious laceration to her forehead which also included a serious fracture of the skull, specifically the sinus bone which opened a direct wound into the mare's skull and exposed the interior sinus area.

Other wounds included a deep laceration to the lower portion of the leg, and at one point, the mare was lying on the ground motionless with her eyes closed while Chernicki continued to whip her and Powers pulled on the rope.

Witnesses said they kept yelling at Powers and Chernicki to stop trying to load the horse, even offering to get a trained person who had moved the mare before without any problems. Powers and Chernicki refused the offer and said the mare was now theirs and they wanted to load the horse and get it done.

Gibney said she left the barn to call a veterinarian while Phillip Gibney said he called the animal control officer, Josephine Guertin, to ask for help. Phillip Gibney said he was so upset and frustrated he wanted to physically tackle Powers to stop him from hurting the mare but was unsure if he could do so. He continued to yell loudly at Powers and Chernicki, but they continued trying to load the mare.

Andrew Krause, a veterinarian, arrived and found the horse in a barn stall. The horse was wet because, according to court documents, Powers and Chernicki had attempted to wash some of the blood off with a hose.

Powers and Chernicki had left the scene and Krause said the mare was extremely difficult to treat and acting abnormally.

Krause had to tranquilize the mare with a pole syringe and sedate her to the point the mare was lying on the ground sleeping. A closer examination of the horse found the serious head injury which Krause described as "the frontal sinus cavity was caved in and every time the mare took a breath, air would move in and out through the hole in the top of her skull ... the horse was given a tetanus shot, put on antibiotics and put on pain control medication.

"The prognosis for the mare is uncertain as the fractured bone may lose its blood supply and die. This would create a long-term infection in the sinus that would require surgery," Krause said.

The conditions of release for Powers and Chernicki include that they are not allowed any contact with Phil Gibney, Loretta Stark, Linda Nunn, James Downing and Andrew Kraus either in person, writing, telephone, e-mail or a third person whether they are jailed or released.

The maximum penalty for aggravated cruelty to animals - torture, which is a felony, for Chernicki is three years in prison or a fine of not more than $5,000 or both. Powers faces a penalty of five years in prison or a fine of $7,500 or both.
Animal Lover

North Berwick, ME

#2 Aug 13, 2009
Not sure I posted this in the right spot but this is an article the caledonian record printed a few days ago in response to the other posts about it. Its enough to give anyone that loves horses nightmares! I hope these people get a higher fine than $7500 and go to jail for a long time. I wish every state would make it an automatic law that anyone that abuses animals this badly (and also with the Jeff Plourde dog rape case) that they are never allowed to own animals again no matter where or what state they live in.

United States

#3 Aug 18, 2009
Jessica's a druggie plain and simple just like he is. How do you think they met?!! With any luck the judge is smart enough not to let them con their way out of this. I hope they have to pay plenty for what they did. Abuse is not acceptable.

Bailey Island, ME

#4 Sep 20, 2009
I think they were right to force the horse on the trailer. The people should have told powers the horse was wild. I think they are inocent. The people pulled a fast one and got 2 sound horses for wild ones they knew the horse wouldn't load.

United States

#5 Sep 21, 2009
Jane, what are you talking about?? You dont ever force a horse on a trailer! Whether they were told the horse was "wild" or not, they didnt have to make the deal, they didnt have to take the horse, they could have taken the one or two horses they brought and LEFT. That doesn't mean its right to force an innocent animal and smash its skull! You need to have your head examined by a professional and possibly put on medication if you believe what you stated to be true. Nobody else believes it. Poor horse.

Granville, NY

#6 Sep 27, 2009
I think they made the deal and got one horse home and didn't want to back out. The people knew the horse was wild they were just looking for a complaint. And Keith was there the wrong place at the wrong time. That horse was too wild.

Castleton On Hudson, NY

#7 Sep 28, 2009
I doubt that. Neither Keith nor Jessica have a stellar track record apparently. Word gets around particularly if you're not all that peachy to begin with. I think some of the people that know anything about her don't necessarily have anything much good to say. So they're not exactly highly believable at this point.
Crazy Dayz

Durham, NH

#8 Oct 6, 2009
I think that this is outrageous that someone thinks that the horse was "too wild" which gave them the right to beat the daylights out of it. Whipping a horse onto a trailer is NEVER the way to "get it done" as they said... especially when the horse sounds like it was truly afraid if it was flipping up over backward and crashing through/into things. First of all, why WHIP a scared horse? You're just going to stress it out and frighten it more causing an even bigger problem and a more dangerous horse. Second of all, who's to say that the mare WAS a bad loader and "wild" unless you personally know the mare. Regardless, even if she was a wild horse, have you ever seen them load REAL wild horses onto a trailer? It's certainly not done by tying a rope around them and beating them until they fracture their skull, nor by beating them when they are lying on the ground with their eyes closed (probably as a reaction to having fractured its skull). I am VERY happy for the mare's sake that she didn't give in and get onto the trailer because who knows what would have happened to her then. Obviously the deal was not made and no horses exchanged... "wild" or not, the mare should never have been handled like that. I had a lot of experience with a true "off the range" Mustang, and she certaily tried my patience, but I would never dream of just standing there and beating any horse for any reason - that's when you need to be the bigger person and walk away and cool off before starting over again.

I do realize that sometimes you need to do things that uneducated people see as "abuse", like use of a broom (which does not sting like a whip and has give when tapped with it), using a butt rope and pulling a horse on, chain over the nose/under the chin, etc. I think that these two went WAY too far and need to have themselves thrown on the ground until their sinus' break. I hope that they throw the book at them both... literally.

Portland, ME

#9 Oct 8, 2009
crazy days: You're right. It never works. These people are just stupid idiots that deserve to suffer the same fate as the horse. I dont think they would learn anything though. They'd probably come out just as stupid and ignorant as ever.
True Girl

Millbury, MA

#10 Nov 12, 2009
Jane wrote:
I think they made the deal and got one horse home and didn't want to back out. The people knew the horse was wild they were just looking for a complaint. And Keith was there the wrong place at the wrong time. That horse was too wild.
Jane I know this horse and have been around it often, I have seen a 3 year old and a 11 year old child riding the mare, so i would have to say WILD "NOT!" You have to be an idiot to think that anyone would want what happended to this inocent mare to happen! If you think for one minute Keith and Jessica are inocent in this matter you need to have your head examined. Jessica is supposed to be so horse knowledgable how is it that she could be involved with an abuse case such as this??? I dont know about you but if i were being whipped i think i would try to get away too...thats a no brainer.

New York, NY

#11 Nov 17, 2009
was anyone there ? These gibneys are hicks with felonies several a piece do not judge for u were not there and sound very uneducated on the real situation goodluck with ur hateful minds get real get educated ang get beeped ari from franconia or is thst ur problem u need a good beeping mabye

New York, NY

#12 Nov 17, 2009
hello betsy

United States

#13 Nov 18, 2009
"Anyone who would abuse animals will also abuse children. These people should be locked up forever!! But, of course, they won't be - so watch out folks they will be back!

Castleton On Hudson, NY

#14 Nov 18, 2009
WTF is "beeped"? LMAO Stick your head up your @SS and shut up. So what if Gibneys have felonies? Gibneys weren't the ones that beat the horse, so they have more credibility with me than than idiots like Chernicki and Powers. You're just trying to pick on Ari and use what you said to make a case of why you think its ok to beat an innocent animal. Oh yeah, and I didn't HAVE to be there. Just the fact that a bunch of people that had absolutely nothing to gain testified to it for the papers etc is good for me you stupid f*ck.

Castleton On Hudson, NY

#15 Nov 23, 2009
Only someone that is self-centered and egotistical would want to use the name GOD. It explains why you think your answer is the only one good enough and that apparently other people aren't "allowed" to have any opinions. Well, too bad. It's a free country. Sorry. ;-)

Wilmington, DE

#17 Nov 24, 2009
How come nobody's even heard of any outcome on the court date that they had set for Nov 9th? Both Power and Chernicki were in court on that date at the Caledonia County Courthouse at 1 pm but NONE of the newspapers bothers to cover it? What's up with that?!

Castleton On Hudson, NY

#18 Dec 9, 2009
Anyone know whats up with this issue?
Inside Knowlege

United States

#19 Dec 17, 2009
Sharli wrote:
Anyone know whats up with this issue?
I hate to say it, but it seems that both Powers and Chernicki are both going to slide on the charges AND Powers also won a suit to get the horse returned to him so he could sell it. The States Attorney screwed this one up badly! The judge fell for their con as was feared.......

Castleton On Hudson, NY

#20 Dec 22, 2009
That stinks! I can't believe any judge was that dumb. I always knew laws in the NEK were backwards, but I didn't know it was this bad!

Castleton On Hudson, NY

#21 Dec 22, 2009
Thanks for the information though. :-)

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