GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (AP) -- A Grand Island man whose vehicle contained several dozen chicken carcasses and malnourished chickens when he was pulled over has been given 180 days behind bars.
Online court records say 36-year-old Luis Motola-Palacio was sentenced on Tuesday in Hall County District Court. He also was fined $1,000 and forbidden to drive for 15 years. He had pleaded no contest to charges of drunken driving, second offense, and to livestock neglect.
Authorities say a Grand Island police sergeant stopped Motola-Palacio early on Jan. 31 for driving without turning on his headlights. The officer soon discovered the chickens in a makeshift cage in the back of Motola-Palacio's sport utility vehicle.
Only 58 of the 100 chickens were alive. The other 42 had been crushed under the weight of chickens on top. None of the birds were in cages.
The surviving 58 chickens were taken to the Central Nebraska Humane Society after the early morning stop.
"Do I think the chickens have been abused? Absolutely! If you could see the pictures of the width and depth that they were kept in, they literally crushed each other because there was no place to move and at this time we don't even know how long they were in the vehicle," said Laurie Dethloff, the Executive Director of the Central Nebraska Humane Society.
Along with the 43 dead chickens, many of the surviving chickens show evidence of being abused.
Dethloff said, "You can definitely tell that they've been in some stress due to feather loss, exposure of a lot of bones and body parts."
The sentences are to run at the same time as his prison sentence for an assault in 2013, when Palaco shot someone in the leg while butchering pigs.