Update: Elrod couple accused of starving horses to death granted bond reduction
A Tuscaloosa County Judge has granted a bond reduction request for Milisa Pate and Daryl Shane Pate. Both are no longer listed in the custody of the Tuscaloosa County Jail where they had been since their arrests. The bonds were lowered to $100,000 each by Judge James Gentry. The Pate's must also comply with certain terms including surrendering ownership of the remaining horses involved in their cases and they must not own livestock while released on bond. The prosecution did not object to a lower bond at last week's hearing. The Pate's attorney, James Standridge, argued the bonds were excessive and that the defendants were not a flight risk. Daryl Shane Pate's bond was initially set at $211,000, Milisa Pate's was $175,000.
New details in an animal cruelty case in Tuscaloosa County. Prosecutors have brought nine additional felony charges against Milisa Pate and Daryl Shane Pate. Both were in court Monday afternoon. Their attorney requested their bonds be reduced. He said both had ties to the community and were not a flight risk. Judge Jim Gentry did not immediately make a ruling.
The Pates were arrested in January after several horses were found dead on their property in Elrod. Nine others were confiscated by animal control and are being nursed back to health. Monday a prosecutor called the case the worst they've ever seen.
Reports from a veterinarian discussed in court found the horses starved to death. The dead horses were in various stages of decomposition according to the state. One had to be euthanized on the scene. In the words of the prosecutor, "we've never seen anything on this same scale" calling it an "egregious situation."
The state did not oppose a reduction in bond to $120,000 for each defendant on several conditions including that the Pates surrender the remaining horses and that they do not own any livestock.
ABC3340's i-Team has followed a number of cruelty cases in the past year. Animal advocates hope they spur more training so law enforcement officers will act sooner on complaints. Neighbors say they made repeated calls to the sheriff's office about the Pates' horses.