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Baxter County Patrol Vehicle

William Hanson Returned to Arkansas to Face Sentencing for Animal Cruelty


     William Henry Hanson was returned to Arkansas this evening. He was transported from Johnson County, Missouri today by Baxter County Sheriff's Deputies and was booked into the Baxter County Detention at approximately 9:30 pm.

     45 Year old William Hanson, who was arrested in October in Johnson County, Missouri, has been fighting extradition since his arrest. Governor Jay Nixon, of Missouri, signed the misdemeanor Governor's Warrant on Monday, ordering Hanson returned to Arkansas to face sentencing in Baxter County District Court. Hanson, along with his wife Tammy Hanson, was convicted in January 2006 of animal cruelty, but became fugitives after they fled the State of Arkansas before sentencing. At the time, it was considered the largest animal cruelty case in the United States. The Humane Society of the United States spent more than $110,000 along with hundreds of volunteer who donated countless hours in caring for the more than 500 animals who were being kept in some of the most deplorable conditions ever witnessed by authorities. The case gained national attention because more than 100 of these animals had been previously rescued from victims of Hurricane Katrina.

     Tammy Hanson was captured in Caledonia County, Vermont after being on the run from authorities for more than 3 ½ years. Vermont Sheriff Michael Bergeron and States Attorney Ben Luna, worked diligently to see that Ms. Hanson was sent back to Arkansas to face sentencing. She was extradited back to Arkansas and appeared in front of District Court Judge Van Gearhart. She was sentenced on November 4, 2009 to one year in jail and ordered to pay more than $15,000 in fines, court costs and restitution.

     William Hanson is expected to appear in District Court next week for Sentencing. An exact date has not been set.

Sheriff John Montgomery