Posted September 18
A Nebraska farmer will spend at least 20-months in jail for animal cruelty.
On Tuesday, an Otoe County judge sentenced John Maahs, 61, of Unadilla, to 20-60 months behind bars.
He pleaded no contest in April to one count of neglect. In return, the state dropped the other 9 counts.
In September 2011, sheriff deputies found hundreds of animal carcasses -- mostly pigs -- piled up in several buildings on his farm.
The deputies also found 140 living pigs along with a few goats and a calf. They had no food or water according to investigators.
Because of the build-up of methane gas from the rotting remains, authorities were forced to burn the out-buildings.
Last year, Otoe County attorney Dave Parsch told Channel 6 News: "The biggest question everybody has is, why would something like this happen?"
As part of the deal, John Maahs pleaded no contest to one felony count of cruel neglect to farm animals. He was originally charged with 10 counts.
Maahs faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine when he's sentenced in May.
He was also ordered to reimburse Otoe County more than $56,000 to cover their costs in cleaning up his farm.
The County Attorney says deputies found as many as a thousand carcasses, mostly pigs, on his farm last September.