William Henry Hanson, long time fugitive and husband of Tammy Christine Hanson, appeared this afternoon in Baxter County District Court before Judge Van Gearhart to be sentenced on his 2006 convictions on multiple counts of animal cruelty. Both of the Hansons had been arrested in late 2005 after Sheriff's Deputies served a search warrant on the Hanson's EDNAH (Every Dog Needs A Home) compound in Gamaliel, Arkansas. They were both convicted of the animal cruelty charges after trial in Baxter County District Court, but they absconded before being sentenced.
William Hanson, 45 years of age, was returned to the Baxter County Detention Center on November 13, 2009 following protracted legal proceedings to extradite him from the State of Missouri. William and Tammy Hanson had both been residing in Vermont under assumed names until located there this past summer. When they were found, Tammy Hanson was taken into custody, but William Hanson was not. William Hanson subsequently failed to appear in court in Vermont to answer a citation for animal cruelty charges there, and he fled the state. He was captured a short time later in Missouri, and he had been detained there until his return to Baxter County earlier this month to face sentencing and to answer a Baxter County Failure to Appear arrest warrant.
William Hanson was represented today in court by Attorney Andrew Bailey from the Public Defender's Office. The State was represented by Prosecuting Attorney Ron Kincade. District Judge Gearhart heard a joint recommendation from both attorneys with respect to the sentence to be imposed on Mr. Hanson. Acting upon recommendation from the Prosecuting Attorney's Office and the Sheriff's Office, Judge Gearhart sentenced William Henry Hanson to serve a total of eight (8) months in the county jail on each count, and the sentences will run concurrently. Hanson will be given credit for sixty (60) days he has already been held in custody, leaving him with an additional six (6) months to serve in jail. Hanson was also ordered to pay fines and court costs totaling $13,000.00, as well as to pay restitution to the Humane Society of the United States in the amount of $5,000.00.
In addition to the fines, court costs, restitution, and jail time, William Hanson was ordered not to own, possess, or being in contact with any animals, and he is to be placed on supervised probation upon his release from custody.
Judge Gearhart set an appeal bond of $100,000 cash, should there be an appeal filed to Circuit Court.
Tammy Hanson and William Hanson are now both serving jail sentences in the Baxter County Detention Center, and another chapter in the Hanson saga has been concluded.
/s/ John F. Montgomery
Baxter County Sheriff