ROGERS CITY - A Hawks woman is in jail after violating her probation stemming from a 2013 animal cruelty conviction.
Judge Mike Mack, sitting in for 53rd Circuit Court Judge Scott Pavlich, found in January that Christine Kay Thompson had violated her probation. Mack presided over the case because Presque Isle County sheriff's Deputy Dave Tomas seized Thompson's animals and serves as Pavlich's court officer.
As a result, she was sentenced to six months jail, with credit for one day served, Deputy Court Clerk Rose Przybyla said, referring to court files. She was ordered to report by Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. She's still on probation, and her time in jail will count toward the sentence.
Thompson pleaded guilty to a felony charge of cruelty or abandonment of four to 10 animals in August 2013, and received 18 months probation as a result. Under the terms, she could not own, be in the presence of or have control over animals, with the exception of some household pets, according to Presque Isle County Prosecutor Richard Steiger.
However, a probation officer for the county got a call from someone who noticed a photograph of Thompson running a pony ride in September. The ride was at a festival held by a Flint TV station. When asked in court about the photo, Thompson said it was an old photograph and that she was in Rogers City on the day of the festival.
Steiger said he believes Thompson's sentence is just.
"It was unfortunate she chose not to be candid with the court while under oath, and had she been, I don't think the sentence would have been nearly as long," he said. "She would've likely received minimal jail time if she would've acknowledged the violation and not perjured herself."
A message left with Mike Vogler, Thompson's attorney, was not returned by press time.
Thompson's original conviction stems from what deputies found when they responded to a horses at large complaint at Thompson's farm in November 2012. They seized 33 horses, five dogs and three pigs after finding the animals to be in various states of neglect, according to a sheriff's department release at the time. Two of the horses were put down under a veterinarian's advice.
Thompson maintained her innocence despite losing the animals in a forfeiture proceeding. She told the court she was running a horse rescue operation. She eventually agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge, and was ordered to pay more than $25,000 to cover the cost of caring for the seized animals.