KBR Wild Horse and Burro News

Story date: February, 1999

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There has been much speculation and concern regarding the ability of tiny Storey County's ability to prosecute this case. Many people have sent letters of concern, both to Storey County and to the Frankie Sue Del Papa, the Nevada State Attorney General. We just received this reassuring and informative correspondence from Rhonda Moore, Deputy Attorney General for Conservation and Resources.

Dear Mr. Lamm:

I am a deputy attorney general in the Conservation and Natural Resources section and counsel to the Nevada Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses. Frankie Sue has asked me to respond to your e-mail regarding the wild horse killings here in Nevada.

We at this office are as shocked and disturbed as you are about this terrible and senseless act of cruelty. Though the Storey County law enforcement team and District Attorney are primarily responsible for the investigation and prosecution, a number of state agencies have pitched in to help in every possible way. The state has additional interest, as well, because the horses did not live on federal land, where the United States Bureau of Land Management has jurisdiction. These Virginia Range horses are managed by the state, and by law are considered to be the state's responsibility and property. In addition, the Nevada Commission for the Preservation of Wild Horses helped coordinate efforts to put up reward money for bringing the killers to justice and contributed to the reward fund, which is now about $35,000. A large number of animal groups and private citizens, both from Nevada and other states, contributed time, work and money, and are very involved in this issue as well. Clearly, no one here in Nevada is taking this lightly.

As you are aware, three suspects have been apprehended and criminal action is proceeding against them in Storey County. The District Attorney there, Janet Hess, is a dedicated and skillful attorney, and I have confidence that she will do a great job on this case. Any perception that Storey County's prosecution is in any way imperiled due to funding concerns is not correct, and there is no possibility that guilty individuals would go unpunished for monetary reasons. Under Nevada law, a district attorney always has the option of referring a prosecution to this (The Attorney General's) office if there is a conflict or other problem for the county with primary jurisdiction. Moreover, various types of assistance are available from this office and most other state and local agencies in the usual course of things, the investigation and apprehension of the suspects being a case in point, which involved the efforts of many, both public and private.

She went on to say that Attorney General Del Papa values public input from the public which, in my opinion, was evidenced by her office's timely reply to my original message. If you wish to express your position, you can email Deputy Attorney General Moore at moore@govmail.state.nv.us. Since the State Attorney General's Office is obviously serious about this case, I think a simple expression of your position on this subject will be sufficient.

Stay tuned to this site for further updates
about this case as it proceeds

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