Day four of all-day deliberations, and still no verdict in the case of Arcata rancher Ray Christie.
Today jurors asked for read-back on the testimony of state veterinarian Steven Gallego, who was on the witness stand for hours during the trial. The court reporter spent all afternoon reading back the testimony.
Gallego participated in the multi-agency raid on Christie’s properties in March 2018. He testified that at one of Christie’s properties, where two cows were found emaciated and near death, up to 90 percent of the herd was “very thin to dying.”
Christie, 56, is charged with 38 misdemeanor counts of dumping animal carcasses near state waters and four felony counts of animal cruelty.
At his ranch on the Arcata bottoms, officers found a stack of carcasses containing anywhere from 40 to 200 dead cows. There has been no rendering plant in Humboldt County since 2003, so ranchers are on their own when deciding how to dispose of dead animals.
Christie deals with up to 40,000 cattle a year. He often buys sub-par cows and attempts to restore them to health. Officers found multiple carcasses on his properties, some of them floating in sloughs or water channels that empty into sloughs.
Christie and his attorney, John Cogorno, have waited in the courthouse hallway each day in anticipation of a verdict. Jurors were expected to continue deliberating tomorrow morning.