Attorney: Horse Killing Suspect Mentally Incompetent

No Plea Deal Yet In Horse Slaughter Case

MIAMI - No plea deal has been reached yet in the case of two men accused of slaughtering a horse, and an attorney for one of the suspects said Friday his client is mentally incompetent.

Santiago Cabrera and Luis Cordero were arrested last year after police said they went to the Lazy L Ranch on Northwest 159th Street in September 2009 and killed a horse for its meat. Police said Cabrera admitted to the crime.

At a hearing Friday, Cabrera's attorney told the judge that his client is mentally incompetent, which he said he learned after a round of mental evaluations. According to the attorney, Cabrera has the mental capacity of a 12-year-old. The judge said further evaluation is needed.

Cordero's court date was rescheduled for next year.

It is unclear whether the suspects will accept a plea deal offered by the state.

About 20 horses were found slain and mutilated in South Florida last year. Investigators said thieves sometimes sell horse meat on the black market.

Animal rights activists gathered in protest outside the courthouse Friday morning. Several horse owners showed up demanding a tough punishment for Cordero and Cabrera.

Cabrera's next hearing is scheduled for the end of October.

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