Guilty plea over horse butchery

November 18, 2010

One of two men charged in connection with horse butchery in Miami, Florida, has pleaded guilty.

Santiago Cabrera
Santiago Cabrera, 20, faces up to five years in jail under a deal cut with prosecutors, with a sentencing hearing set down for December 17.

A psychological assessment of Cabrera that showed he was fit to stand trial resulted in his guilty plea.

The other man arrested for horse butchery, Luis Cordero, 18, is still considering the plea deal, which is open until mid-January. If he does not accept the deal, his case will go to trial.

The pair had been charged in connection with two incidents of horse butchery, among more than 20 that plagued Miami and the surrounding area last year.

The animals were butchered for their meat to fuel what police believe is a lucrative black-market trade.

The string of killings outraged local horse owners.

Cabrera admitted charges of armed burglary, animal cruelty, killing a registered breed horse and breaking a fence in connection with the incidents, both committed with the intention of selling the horse's meat.