Friday, June 11: JVM: Jane Valez Mitchel SG: Slick Gardner [b]Carlos Diaz:[/b] The Michael Jackson case made him a household name. Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon prosecuting the King of Pop for child molestation, but CJ has uncovered another case that has emotions running just as high. Jane Velez-Mitchell has more. [b]Jane Velez-Mitchell:[/b] Think the Neverland rand scandal is bizarre? Just a short drive away at Gardner Ranch, another wild case, involving wild horses. [b]Slick Gardner:[/b] There’s a lot of parallels in the whole thing. [b]JVM:[/b] Rancher Slick Gardner says just like his famous neighbor Michael, he’s being prosecuted, he claims persecuted by D.A. Tom Sneddon. The D.A.’s office calls it “ludicrous”, but Slick insists he and Sneddon had a run-in 30 years ago. [b]SG:[/b] It just seems like it’s almost a vendetta deal. These guys are going so far out of their way to do things to me that normally wouldn’t be done and I see them doing that with Michael’s stuff too. [b]JVM:[/b] Michael is accused of child molestation, Slick Gardner faces a dozen felony counts for allegedly stealing hundreds of horses, bouncing checks and cruelty to the very animals Slick insists he rescued out of Nevada. [b]SG:[/b] They were headed for slaughter, so I stepped in and saved them. They would’ve been on a dinner table in Europe. Horse meat. [b]JVM:[/b] Jackson’s ranch was raided so was the land Gardner leases. While Slick claims he spent more than $1 million on the horses last year, his critics say many of the horses were on the brink of starvation and death. [b]JVM:[/b] CJ obtained video of last year’s raid on Gardner Ranch. Santa Barbara Sheriffs and D.A. investigators seized about 170 horses. Prosecutors contend after they tended the horses properly, most “dramatically improved” like “starving kids” and are now “fat and sassy” in sanctuary. Slick counter…. [b]SG:[/b] When you have 400 other horses, you’re gonna have a few of them that don’t look good. I mean, when you got 400 people, you got some that are not feeling good. [b]JVM:[/b] Slick showed us two recent letters from vets calling his remaining horses in “good condition”. [b]Melissa Balker:[/b] They’re lucky to be here, compared to Nevada. [b]JVM:[/b] Melissa Balker, who shot the raid video claims the seizures left one horse limping, others stuffed. Prosecutors charge many horses had wounds when they got there, insisting their seizure was “careful” supervised by animal experts and deemed a “model operation”. Still Slick filed a petition challenging the horse seizures. The judge? The same one presiding over Jackson’s case Rodney Melville. The county contended that Slick was responsible for the huge cost of the raid, and sent him a bill. Slick says he’s fighting it, and has just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. [b]SG:[/b] I think the people are fed up with what’s going on around here and between the Jackson deal and this thing, it may change some things in the county. [b]JVM:[/b] Both sides do agree, the wild horses and the burros should live out their lives in natural groups with room to roam. Source: CELEBRITY JUSTICE // MJJF

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