From the catch-up file:
A 69-year-old man accused of neglecting the 39 horses he once kept on a spacious ranch in Graham pleaded not guilty last month to 10 counts of second-degree animal cruelty.
John Diller’s attorney, Lance Hester, entered the plea on Diller’s behalf. His arraignment, originally scheduled for Dec. 27, was waived because the plea was entered in writing.
He is due in court Feb. 25.
Pierce County officials seized the horses Sept. 25 after finding the animals kept in alleged squalid conditions, including rundown barns with poor ventilation and inadequate lighting. Officers reported finding underweight horses with cracked or overgrown hooves and some stalls with manure piled up to 2 feet.
Diller acquired 11 of the horses back after making improvements to his horse facilities. Eight horses were euthanized and at least nine have been adopted. The others are being cared for at Frontier Park.