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Trial date scheduled in Delta County animal cruelty case

Rebecca Sue Johnson faces a felony charge of abandonment or cruelty to 25 or more animals, as well as a misdemeanor for operating an unregistered animal shelter.
Updated: May. 10, 2021 at 6:17 PM EDT
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DELTA COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - A woman charged in a Delta County animal cruelty case could be going to trial, although not until a year from now.

Rebecca Sue Johnson was arraigned virtually in Delta County Circuit Court on May 10. Last August, an investigation led to the seizure of more than 130 dogs and 18 horses from Johnson’s property in Rock.

Johnson faces a felony charge of abandonment or cruelty to 25 or more animals, as well as a misdemeanor charge for operating an unregistered animal shelter.

In court, Johnson stood mute on both charges. The court entered not guilty pleas on her behalf.

A five-day jury trial is scheduled to begin on May 2, 2022. The judge noted the court is backed up with trials because of the pandemic, and five days is a long trial for a case like Johnson’s. However, both the prosecutor and Johnson’s attorney said five days are necessary. Both sides have nearly a year to reach a plea agreement if they choose.

If convicted, Johnson faces up to seven years in prison for the felony and up to 90 days in jail for the misdemeanor.

As for the animals involved, the last dog seized from Johnson found his forever home on May 9, according to a post on the Delta Animal Shelter’s Facebook page.

Read earlier reports on this case here.

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