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Former Atwood couple gets jail time

SENTENCED – Donald Shoenthal and Tara Neutzler receive sentences including jail time Monday in Carrroll County Circuit Court.

Staff Writer

The two former Atwood residents indicted last year on over 150 counts related to animal abuse and cruelty were sentenced Monday morning in Carroll County Circuit Court.
Circuit Court Judge Donald Parish accepted guilty pleas from both Donald Shoenthal and Tara Neutzler during Monday’s sentencing hearing.
Shoenthal was sentenced to serve 120 days in jail and five years of supervised probation, and Neutzler received 90 days in jail and five years of supervised probation.
According to Assistant District Attorney James Webb, both Shoenthal and Neutzler have the right to appeal their sentences, but if they don’t, they are scheduled to report to the Carroll County Jail on August 27.
During an earlier hearing, the judge ruled that the two cannot legally possess any animals for ten years.
Back in September of 2018, Shoenthal and Neutzler were each indicted by a Carroll County Grand Jury on over 150 combined counts of cruelty to animals and aggravated cruelty to animals, as well as counts related to child neglect and endangerment.
Those charges were reduced to one count of aggravated animal cruelty and three counts of animal cruelty as part of a plea agreement.
During Monday’s hearing, Shoenthal cited his service in the military and said that Neutzler suffered from bipolar disorder.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Department charged the two in April of 2018 after around 150 animals of various kinds were discovered living in deplorable conditions on property owned by the couple at 3349 Highway 79 in Atwood.
Several dead animals, including a deceased Zebra, were also found during the investigation and rescue efforts.
Shoenthal and Neutzler were also indicted earlier this month in Putnam County after 42 animals, all dogs and cats, were found living in filthy and inhumane conditions on property owned by the couple in that county.
Charges of TennCare fraud and felony theft have been filed against the couple, as well.

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