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Man gets plea deal on animal cruelty charges

WHITEWOOD, SD – A man who was convicted of animal cruelty has changed his plea.

Thomas L. Mraz’s property was found with neglected dogs in October 2020.

In a plea agreement in Fourth Circuit Court, Lawrence County, Deadwood,  Mraz pleaded guilty to 12 misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty, neglect, mistreatment, or abandonment.

Joe Kosel, a lawyer representing the Western Hills Humane Society, objected to the plea agreement saying that Mraz should be held to his original 26 counts of animal neglect and five felony counts of animal cruelty.

In remarks, Kosel said there was  sufficient evidence to move forward for all convictions. He continued in noting that his presence in court was to underscore the  large segment of the population that would like to see these charges prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Mraz is set to be sentenced on August 4th, pending his sentencing in another case in Meade County on July 27th.

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