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NC woman sentenced in starvation deaths of 22 horses, one dog

RALEIGH (AP) — A North Carolina woman who pleaded guilty to animal cruelty in the starvation deaths of 22 horses and a dog will spend at least three months in prison.

Multiple news outlets report that 64-year-old Janet Elaine Lavender Burleson of Cary pleaded guilty Friday to 10 counts of animal cruelty. She was sentenced to five months to 15 months in prison with credit for the two months she’s already served.

Necropsies determined the animals died of starvation on a Wake County farm. Their bodies were discovered Jan. 18.

Burleson’s attorney said she stopped caring for the animals in December after she got sick. The attorney said she has had mental health problems since a car accident 16 years ago, and memory lapses caused her to abandon the animals.

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