Authorities at the scene of the seizure Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Larry Hauk, Copperas Cove Leader-Press)
GATESVILLE (July 26, 2012)--Coryell County Justice of the Peace Coy Latham ruled Thursday on the ownership of more than 100 animals seized last week from a Copperas Cove horse farm.
Latham said Marijeta Medvereck, owner of Blue Heaven Farm, may keep 29 horses, one goat and one donkey, but she must give up the remaining five horses, 53 goats, eight head of cattle, six donkeys and three hogs.
Latham also ordered Medvereck to upgrade the facilities at her farm, which deputies said were in extremely poor condition and that is what resulted in the seizure initially.
Also Medvereck must allow inspectors on her property to monitor the conditions there until the justice court lifts the order.
Latham then ordered Medvereck to pay $4,709 in restitution to the county.
Medvereck is entitled to appeal the judge's decision to the county court level, but if she does so she must post an appeal bond of more than $7,000 to the court while the appeal is pending.
Medvereck said as she was leaving the courtroom that she was happy with the judge's decision.
Complaints from neighbors prompted deputies to begin an investigation into the ranch almost six weeks ago, Chief Deputy Joe Blakley said.
Blakley said some of the horses seized actually belong to other people and were being boarded at the ranch.
He said those owners were contacted and given an opportunity to pick up their animals so they can make different boarding arrangements for them.
Blue Heaven Farm's website says the business provides horses for trail rides, horse riding lessons, boarding and training services.