Jamie Stanton – Deputy District Attorney
Jamie Stanton received her JD from the Willamette University College of Law in 2009. Since 2010, Jamie has served as the Deputy District Attorney for Douglas County, Oregon. In this position, Jamie prosecutes animal abuse in Douglas County. Prior to this position, Jamie clerked for the Douglas County Circuit Court and for the Marion County District Attorney, as well as the Oregon Department of Justice.
In 2010, Jamie prosecuted a case of cruelty to and neglect of a horse (later named Grace for the way she handled her miraculous recovery). When Grace was discovered she was 400 pounds underweight and lacked the muscle tone to properly process food. Defendants Teresa Dicke and Linda Fessenden had abandoned Grace to fend for herself. Darla Clark (founder of Strawberry Mountain Mustangs) cared for Grace and helped bring her to a healthy 1050 pounds – on the same pellet diet the defendants could have provided for less than $3 a day.
Jamie prosecuted Teresa Dicke for animal abuse in the first degree and animal neglect in the first degree (class A misdemeanors). Linda Fessenden was prosecuted for animal neglect in the second degree (a class B misdemeanor.) Both women minimized Grace’s suffering and requested dismissal of their cases in exchange for community service, but Jamie refused, hoping to impose jail time. She also asked that the defendants spend a day in jail for each day that Grace had suffered, and that the judge ban both defendants from possessing horses for a period of 5 years. Ultimately, the judge sentenced Teresa Dicke to 8 months and Linda Fessenden to 3 months in jail, and ordered them to pay restitution to Darla Clark. Grace has a Facebook page and fans around the world.
Grace died of colic, to which she was more susceptible due to her starvation. But at the end of her life, she with a family who loved and cared for her. She was humanely euthanized in the loving arms of Darla Clark. When the defendants appealed their convictions, ALDF’s Scott Heiser provided Jamie with assistance responding to their motion. Judge Ambrosini agreed and found that the deputy’s seizure was justified. Jamie hopes that the Oregon Court of Appeals will use Grace’s case to hold that the emergency aid exception in Oregon includes all life – not just human life. Because of Grace’s case, an aggravated animal neglect statute will be introduced in the Oregon Legislature to allow felony prosecution in future cases.
Another case Jamie worked involved a three year old dog named Mocha. His owner, Debra Ballard took Mocha to the vet after he vomited for most of the day. The vet ran a battery of tests on Mocha and found that he was dying of antifreeze poisoning – one of the most painful ways an animal can die according to the vet who testified at trial. Mocha’s kidneys were too far gone for him to be saved so Debra made the painful decision to put Mocha down to end his suffering. Debra’s husband found containers filled with antifreeze – one of which was baited with tuna – on their neighbor’s property. Bernard and Mitzy Daughtery admitted they put the antifreeze out in their yard because they were tired of dog feces in their yard. When Debra told Bernard Daughtery that Mocha had to be put down, he replied, “good, the antifreeze is working.” The Daughterys were found guilty of aggravated animal abuse (a class C felony), criminal mischief in the second degree and disorderly conduct in the second degree. Each defendant served 6 months in jail and fined for restitution.
Jamie continues to prosecute such animal cruelty with the full force of the law. She and her husband live with two six year old cats, Mitts (a polydactyl) and She-ra, and a dog named Buster.