A Yellowstone County District Court judge has upheld James Leachman's conviction on five counts of animal cruelty for abusing his horses.
Leachman, a longtime Billings horse and cattle breeder, appealed his December Justice Court conviction by arguing prosecutors never proved he owned the horses.
Judge Susan Watters ruled Monday that since Leachman didn't deny owning the horses during his trial, he can't raise that issue on appeal.
Leachman was sentenced to five years in jail with all but 120 days suspended, fined $500 and prohibited from owning cattle or horses during those five years.
Deputy County Attorney Ingrid Rosenquist tells The Billings Gazette that prosecutors will seek to have the sentence imposed.