The court recordings for Larry Joe Wheelon’s horse soring case have been recovered and the criminal proceedings against him will resume June 9.
Wheelon, two stable hands and a farrier are charged with allegedly soring Tennessee walking horses at Wheelon’s Maryville stables.
Wheelon, 69, Miracle Drive, Maryville, and stable hands Randall Stacy Gunter, 45, Miracle Drive, Louisville, and Brandon Randall Lunsford 33, Blair Loop Road, Walland, are charged with 13 felony and five misdemeanor charges of aggravated cruelty to livestock and five charges of conspiracy to commit aggravated cruelty to animals.
Farrier Blake Tanner Primm, 45, Glen Road, Louisville, also faces one felony charge of aggravated cruelty to livestock and a misdemeanor charge of conspiracy to commit aggravated cruelty to animals.
At a status hearing May 12 in front of Blount County Circuit Court Judge Tammy Harrington, it was announced that the preliminary hearing court recordings were “corrupted.”
Harrington extended the status hearing to give the prosecution until May 22 to see if the information on the transcript could be recovered.
The recordings were recovered later that night, but have not yet been transcribed.
The transcript is of the preliminary general sessions hearing in which Blount County General Sessions Judge Robert L. Headrick dismissed the charges, saying the prosecution did not prove its case.
A veterinarian for the state was barred from testifying after he mistakenly sat in on 30 minutes of testimony. He had flown in from Mississippi and did not know that Headrick had sequestered all witnesses.
The veterinarian was the only person who had results of the tests performed on the horses that were taken from Wheelon.
The district attorney then took the case to the grand jury, which returned indictments for a trial in Blount County Circuit Court.
The status hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, June 9, in Harrington’s court.