IMMOKALEE, Fla. — An Immokalee man has been sentenced for Aggravated Animal Cruelty.
Robert David Starkweather, 52, was found guilty in January.
In March 2018, the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Agricultural Crimes Unit responded to the pasture after getting a report about a downed cow.
Deputies found 13 dead cows and 131 emaciated cows and calves at the scene.
Starkweather owned 144 cows and calves that he had in a pasture off Ft. Denaud Road in LaBelle.
Evidence showed Starkweather failed to provide adequate food, water, and medication to the animals. Further, he ignored signs, over four months, that the cows were in distress and suffering from malnutrition.
Starkweather was found guilty on two of the counts and withheld adjudication on the remaining counts.
He was sentenced to 5 years of probation and 90 days in jail as a condition of probation.
The defendant must also do 100 hours of community service, pay court costs, and restitution.
Starkweather must report all fields where he has cattle so that agriculture units can check the pastures quarterly to report any issues to probation.