April 12, 2012 | Vol. 42, No. 15

McEwen sentenced in local court

Haines police officer Cassandra McEwen was sentenced to a 60-day suspended jail sentence and to not own, possess or have custody of horses for five years after pleading guilty April 5 to three misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

She also was placed on five years’ probation and fined $300. McEwen’s resignation from the Haines Borough Police is effective Sunday.

At her sentencing by Haines magistrate John Hutchins in local court, McEwen waived rights to an attorney and expressed disregard for how the sentence would affect her career as a police officer.

Hutchins said there were facts to support the charges and that the sentence might have “pretty significant collateral consequences” on McEwen’s career as police officer. He asked whether she wanted time to consider the ramifications of a guilty plea.

McEwen said she was not intending to work as a police officer and that her mental and emotional state precluded her from such work.

“I sense you loved the animals. It seems there were circumstances that brought this situation about. It’s not that you didn’t love the animals, but (the evidence) certainly amounts to negligence,” Hutchins said.

The sentence won’t prevent McEwen from leaving Alaska.

A veterinarian who inspected McEwen’s three horses in January found them near death.The horses have been sold.