Man charged in major animal cruelty case receives 5-year probation, psychiatric evaluation

  • In US
  • 2022-10-03 19:51:05Z
  • By Tallahassee Democrat

A former Florida A&M University professor who was arrested in a major animal cruelty case last year will receive five years of probation and undergo a psychiatric evaluation following a plea deal accepted Monday.

Assistant State Attorney Cayelan Cwirka said Marion Harmon, 65, must follow any recommended treatment or counseling stemming from the evaluation, according to the plea deal read at the Leon County Circuit Court. He will also be unable to own animals while under probation.

In August 2021, Harmon formally surrendered his livestock and agreed to never own farm animals again, according to court records filed in Florida's 2nd Judicial Circuit.

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Harmon was charged in June 2021 on 57 counts of animal cruelty related charges including 37 for aggravated animal cruelty, 7 for animal cruelty and 16 counts of improper disposal of animal remains, according to court records.

His farm, near the 12,000 block of Capitola Road, housed more than 260 livestock animals from horses, goats and sheep, to ducks, turkeys and mules.

There were multiple dead animal carcasses found at the scene by Leon County Sheriff's Office deputies and many of the animals were also severely emaciated.

Harmon's animals received medical care and were transported to neighboring farms with the help of the Florida Department of Agriculture, the Suwannee County Sheriff's Office and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Some animals have since been auctioned after being deemed fit, according to court records. The money from the auctions were used as restitution for the organizations that temporarily housed the animals.

Harmon was a Florida A&M University professor until he retired at least three years ago.

Contact Christopher Cann at and follow @ChrisCannFL on Twitter.

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This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Leon County animal cruelty case with 150 animals ends in plea deal


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