SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — A Sac County woman accused of livestock neglect that resulted in the death of over 1,000 pigs has pleaded guilty.
Elana Laber, 34, has pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal mischief, a class C felony, and one count of livestock neglect, a serious misdemeanor. Laber accepted these charges as part of a plea agreement earlier this month.
Laber was originally charged with two charges of first-degree criminal mischief and two counts of livestock neglect.
Officials said that the arrest was made after police responded to a report in June that over 1,000 dead pigs were discovered at two hog confinements that were approximately half a mile apart.
During the investigation, Laber, who was employed to maintain both sites, told law enforcement that someone had shut off the electrical breakers the night before which caused the death of the pigs, according to officials.
Upon further investigation and veterinarian inspection, it was determined that the pigs had been dead for at least a week. Laber told officials that she knew the pigs had been dead for that long but did not know what to do. The pigs had no access to feed or water and were found in different stages of decomposition.
According to the plea agreement, Laber will face a prison sentence that is not to exceed 10 years for criminal mischief and 365 days for cattle neglect. The two prison sentences will be served at the same time for a maximum 10-year sentence. Laber will have also to pay a total of $1,800 between the two charges with a crime services surcharge of 15%. Court costs are still pending.
Laber’s sentencing is scheduled for November 21.