School board president charged with animal cruelty

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The president of the Aberdeen School Board has been charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty in the death of a horse, authorities said.

Board president Michael Jackson turned himself in to authorities Saturday morning and was released after posting a $244 bond, said Monroe County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Brent Swann.

Nettleton Alderman Willie Brandon had accused Jackson of being responsible for the death of his horse, according to police records. Brandon signed an affidavit against Jackson on Tuesday.

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Brandon claims his horse died while being studded by one of Jackson’s horses.

“I went to Mr. Jackson’s to check on my horse,” Brandon said. “When I arrived, I saw the horse on the ground. Mr. Jackson kept assuring me that everything was OK and that there was nothing to worry about. When I walked closer to the horse, I noticed it was chained to a pole with a short chain and the chain was wrapped around its neck and mouth. I saw fluids coming out of the horse and I knew that it was dead.”

It’s not clear if Jackson has hired a lawyer. A call Sunday to the number listed for Jackson went unanswered. The voicemail was full.

Brandon said after finding the horse dead, he immediately left and called 911. Brandon claims that the horse had been moved when he got back.

“I found it several feet away and Mr. Jackson was no longer around,” he said. “A deputy arrived and took some pictures of my horse and I filed a report.”

Swann said Brandon had attempted to have Jackson charged with a felony death of an animal charge, but he said the value of the animal could be disputed in court.

According to Mississippi statute, Jackson, if found guilty, could face restitution and also could be banned from keeping and handling animals.