Burnet County, Texas – Bill Wall, Burnet County Commissioner, appeared in a county courtroom Friday afternoon to not deny that his livestock were in poor condition.
As he walked off the field to Burnet’s town square, Wall gave a brief explanation, saying, “All farmers and ranchers always want more rain, sure, no doubt.”
When asked if he neglects his livestock, Wall said, “I don’t feel like it.”
Images submitted to FOX 7 Austin from The Highlander show Wall’s cattle appearing to be malnourished earlier this week. 80 heads were seized from his farm near Bertram after the sheriff’s office received complaints.
“The state has to prove that he was unreasonably cruel to cattle, it wasn’t unreasonable,” said Eddie Shell, Wall’s attorney.
Shell told FOX 7 Austin that it would issue receipts to prove food and care for livestock. “I’m sure there are a lot of ranchers and farmers in Texas watching this issue, because they’re probably looking out their front door and saying, ‘Oh my God, my cattle are weak,'” Shell said.
Many ranchers suffered from drought. In August, FOX 7 Austin went to an auction in Lampasas where there were a mass sale of livestock. FOX 7 Austin asked Shell why Wall didn’t take his cows to auction.
“He was trying, he gambled, as thousands and thousands of farmers and ranchers do, all over Texas and he did in the history of ranching and farming in Texas, he gambled and he lost. The rain never came, if you had come in June, we wouldn’t have been sitting over here “.
The warrant was signed by Burnet County Peace Court PCt 2 Judge, Judge Lisa Whitehead, who disqualified herself from the hearing.
Mason County JP Pct 1 Judge James Tregg Hudson was brought in to hear the case Friday and prosecutors from the Williamson County District Attorney’s office have also been summoned. It is unclear who will preside over the case when it is rescheduled in JP PCt 3 Burnet County Court. Commissioner Wall’s legal team submitted a settlement deal but did not provide details.
It is not known when the case will be heard again. Shell said they lost the JP PCt. 3 Court in Marble Falls, the case will be appealed to a higher district court in Lowe. For now, Wall’s cattle will remain at the Burnet County Fairgrounds where they are fed and have access to water.