One of two men accused of killing horses for their meat pleaded guilty on Wednesday.
Santiago Cabrera, 20, and Luis Cordero were arrested last year, accused of sneaking onto farms and killing two horses, one of which was a thoroughbred racehorse.
After several psychological evaluations, a judge ruled Cabrera competent to stand trial with a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Instead, Cabrera chose to plead guilty.
Two-dozen horses were found slain and slaughtered last year around South Florida, and the case outraged animal lovers nationwide. Horse meat can fetch $40 per pound on the black market.
Some horse lovers and animal rights activists have attended hearings in Cabrera's and Cordero's cases.
"Mr. Cabrera had a choice, and he chose to break a great many laws when he murdered and butchered these horses, and he must take his punishment," said horse lover Jeanette Jordan, who was at the courthouse Wednesday.
Cabrera's sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 17.