Although a motion has been filed with Hopkins County Court at Law challenging the authority of the court regarding an appeal of a settlement reached in a pre-court magistrates hearing regarding custody of hundreds of head of cattle, a jury is being picked Friday, January 5, 2018, in the second floor courtroom of the county courthouse and the appeal trial is expected to begin as soon as the jury is picked. The trial is expected to continue through Wednesday of next week.
The motion was presented to the court by Chad Cable, Attorney for George Lawrence Bergin who is seeking the restored custody of his cattle. The cattle were seized by the SPCA of Texas and Hopkins County Deputies in December, 2017. County Court At Law Judge Amy McCorkle read the motion into the record as the jury selection began. The motion states that Bergin does not believe the court has jurisdiction in the case. Burgin did not appear in court for the jury selection and his attorney left as selection of the jury began. KSST News has filed a formal request with the County Clerk’s office for copies of all pre-trial motions presented Friday. As soon as those are presented, the story will be updated with a more complete explanation of the protest against the court.
The appeal of a settlement reached in a pre-court hearing involving the custody of hundreds of cattle was to have begun with jury selection on Wednesday of this week according to information received last week. However, the court reset the schedule for Friday.
The malnourished cattle were seized December 4-6, 2017 by Hopkins County Law Enforcement and the SPCA of Texas. The cattle were found on 2,700 acres of barren pasture land with no hay. George Lawrence Bergin, 61, of Sulphur Springs was charged with Cruelty to Livestock-Fail to Provide, a state jail felony. The cattle appeared to be suffering from malnutrition.
In the settlement made December 13th, Justice of the Peace B. J. Teer signed an order calling for a public auction of the animals. A bond in the amount of $245,000 was set to perfect the case. The settlement and the appeal of the custody of the cattle will not affect the state jail felony criminal charges against Bergin.