EL CENTRO â€” El Centro city council member and former mayor Jason Jackson Thursday was granted a one-week stay on serving his ten day jail time and the order to surrender his cat by Judge Christopher Plourd at the Imperial County Superior Courthouse.
Jackson pled guilty on July 13 to one felony count of cruelty to an animal in the court of Judge William Lehman. Lehman reduced the charge to a misdemeanor and sentenced Jackson August 17 for his cruelty to an animal conviction.
Jacksonâ€™s sentence includes a formal probation, which allows authorities to search him or his home at any time. He is also required to give up the horse that was abused and forfeit the right to have any animals. Other conditions include attending court-ordered counseling, and the payment of fines. He also must serve ten days in the Imperial County Jail, which was to begin August 31 at 6:00 p.m.
Initially, Jackson did not accept the sentence imposed on the case, but the sentencing judge, Judge Lehman, told Jackson he had to accept the sentence along with the ten day jail time, or receive 90 days in jail.
Jackson did not appear in court for Thursday’s motion. His attorney, Tom Storey, requested the stay, arguing that denying Jackson the ability to have a cat was unconstitutional.
Storey’s request was presented to a different judge (Plourd), than the judge that originally imposed the sentence (Lehman.)
Judge Plourd agreed to grant a one-week stay on the jail time and the cat issue.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Heather Trapnell commented on the proceedings.
â€œThe court has asked us to brief the issue,â€ said Trapnell. â€œ(On) whether the court has the authority to stay two conditions of probation pending an appeal. The two conditions he wants to have stayed are the sentence in jail and the ruling that Jackson cannot possess any pets.â€
The matter comes back to the court September 7. Jackson’s jail time is scheduled to begin the same day at 6:00 p.m.
â€œIâ€™m not worried about Mr. Jackson. Iâ€™m worried about the cat,â€ commented Judge Plourd.