Grand Island, NE Update: Luis Motola-Polacio pleaded no contest in Hall County District Court Thursday to DUI, his 2nd offense, and cruelty to livestock.
In exchange for his no contest plea to the two charges, a charge of driving during suspension was dismissed.
Motola-Polacio will be sentenced on August 6 at 10:00 am.
The man found with 100 chickens in his car, many of them dead, originally plead not guilty with the help of an interpreter in district court and the top charge was for his treatment of the chickens.
The first charge against Luis Motola-Polacio is driving under the influence, his 2nd offense. The other DUI happened on Jan. 31, 2011. The DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor and is punishable by a minimum of 90 days and a maximum of 1 year in jail along with a $1,000 fine. His license would also be revoked for 1-15 years.
The 2nd charge was driving during suspension, a class 3 misdemeanor. If convicted Motola-Polacio would have received no minimum or maximum of 3 months in jail or a $1,000 fine or both. His license would also have been revoked for 1 year.
The 3rd charge was cruelty to livestock, a Class 4 felony. If convicted there is no minimum penalty, but he would serve a maximum of 5 years in prison or a $10,000 fine or both.
But many times, cruelty to livestock isn't a charge that goes to trial.
"We have many cases go to court and unfortunately they don't go any further than that first step, but with the help of the county attorney and law enforcement we've definitely got the evidence we need to hopefully take this to where it needs to go," said Alyssa Nesiba, an Animal Control Officer at the Central Nebraska Humane Society.
The Central Nebraska Humane Society was happy about these charges because they took the chickens in and found them a new home.
At the time, the chickens were underweight and many were missing a lot of feathers, indicating they were kept in close confinements and were left to fight with each other.
After everything they went through, the Humane Society made it their goal to find good homes for the 57.
Nesiba said, "We held the chickens here at the shelter until we got the okay from the county attorney. I don't know too much about how we got the okay to have ownership, but I think after a certain point of us holding them, we got ownership and were able to get them out to different homes."
The chickens were sent to three different farmers who all take care of chickens already.
The Humane Society is not releasing where in an attempt to keep the allegedly abused animals safe.
The Humane Society is not just focusing on the cruelty charge, but his whole trial.
"The DUI and Driving on a Suspended License honestly just kind of helps us with the felony Cruelty to Livestock," said Nesiba.
A public trial allows an important cause to be brought to light one that normally is overlooked.
Nesiba said, "This will definitely help people understand you don't just mistreat dogs and cats, you can mistreat any animal out there including chickens."
Motola-Polacio arrived 8 minutes late to court, a fact that did not slip past Judge James Livingston, who warned Motola-Polacio if it happened again at his pre-trial hearing or jury trial, his bond could be revoked.
He will be back in district court on May 7 for his pre-trial hearing and his jury trial will begin on July 7 at 9 a.m.
Motola-Polacio is also charged with shooting a man in the leg in a separate incident that occurred back in August, when they were slaughtering a pig in a garage. The sentencing for that incident is set for March 11.