UPDATE: According to Humboldt County Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada, at this morning’s arraignment on animal cruelty charges Raymond Christie waived his right to have a preliminary hearing within 60 days. A court date has been set for Aug. 14 and Christie is not currently in custody. The district attorney is filing a motion to increase bail, which should be heard sometime next week, according to Kamada.
Raymond Christie, the Arcata rancher arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty on Mar. 19
, has been formally charged by the Humboldt County District Attorney's office on 35 counts, mostly related to animal cruelty and neglect.
Included in the charges are seven counts of felony cruelty by "failing to provide sustenance, drink, shelter or subject any animal to needless suffering" to cattle, a goat and a pig across different Christie-owned properties in Orick, McKinleyville, Trinidad, Arcata and Eureka.
The remaining 28 charges are misdemeanors under California Fish and Game Code 5652(a) related to disposal of litter or carcasses "within 150 feet of a state waterway." Christie is charged with disposing multiple cattle carcasses near waterways on most of his properties. The complaint specifies that more than 200 cattle carcasses were dumped near waterways on his Jackson Ranch Road property in Arcata.
In March, the sheriff's office confirmed to the Journal
that Christie had returned to the Humboldt County Auction and picked up more cattle after leaving jail. HCSO spokesperson Samantha Karges explained to the Journal
that Christie had bid on the cattle prior to being arrested and — once he posted bail — he was able to pay for the animals.
If Christie is found guilty in the present case, the court will have the opportunity to mandate whether he can purchase or keep animals in the future, according to Karges.
According to Deputy District Attorney Adrian Kamada, if Christie is convicted of animal cruelty, the law allows for a person to be prohibited from "owning, possessing or having custody or control of any animals for a period of five years."
"Prior to a conviction, there are legal procedures that could allow authorities to seize a specific, individual animal from a person, albeit temporarily," Kamada told the Journal
A felony conviction would also prohibit Christie from owning or purchasing firearms.
Christie's arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday, June 19.