2 more charged in dead horses casePublished 11:00am Friday, June 7, 2013
The reported owners of the six horses found dead in February have each been charged with 21 counts of mistreating animals.
Bill Karl Fick, 47, and Penny Lynn Fick, 38, both of Vergas, were each charged in Otter Tail County District Court with one felony count, one gross misdemeanor count and 19 misdemeanor counts of mistreating of animals. They failed to appear at a court hearing May 6, a warrant was issued for their arrests and they had their first court appearance Thursday, June 6.
According to the criminal complaints, Bill and Penny Fick were the owners of six horses that were found dead on the property at 31327 430th St. in rural Vergas when authorities executed a search warrant Feb. 26. Eleven live horses were found, ranging in age from less than a year old to 18 years old. They were “dangerously thin” and weak due to malnutrition and dehydration, according to the report. No food source was allegedly available and a 100-gallon water tank was frozen next to a non-functional heater.
Neighbors told authorities the animals hadn’t been cared for since the Ficks left in December 2012, the report says. Penny Fick’s son Billy Vance Tompkins was reportedly supposed to care for the horses. Tompkins, 19, was also charged in the case. The property owner is Bill Fick’s mother.
Bill Fick’s and Penny Fick’s next court appearances are scheduled for June 17.