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Police: Woman sold horses for slaughter under false pretenses

Kelsey Elva Lefever facing charges of deceptive or fraudulent business practices and theft

January 19, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police say a Chambersburg, Pa., man is a victim of fraud in which a woman sold his racehorse for slaughter.

Police allege Kelsey Elva Lefever, 24, of Honey Brook, Pa., sold horses to slaughter under the pretense she would care for, train and relocate them in new homes.

She is charged with deceptive or fraudulent business practices, two counts of felony theft by deception and two counts of misdemeanor theft by deception, police said.

She was jailed on $20,000 bail, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Feb. 6 in Harrisburg, Pa., where charges were filed, according to online court records.

One of Lefever's alleged victims is Kevin Scott Patterson, a 51-year-old Chambersburg, Pa., man. The pair met at Penn National racetrack in Grantville, Pa.

Patterson gave his retired racehorse, Beau Jaques, to Lefever's Belgians Farms, charging documents said. He also provided her with $200 in cash and 10 bags of feed as a donation for care as Lefever sought a new career for the horse.

There was an "understanding that under no circumstances was Beau Jaques to be sold for slaughter," according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Patterson learned the following week that the horse was discovered on a horse trailer registered to a Shippensburg, Pa., meat buyer at the New Holland, Pa., horse auction, the affidavit said.

Police filed charges related to Beau Jaques being sold to slaughter, as well as three horses previously owned by Mark Corwin Bliss, 63, of Pipersville, Pa.

Horse slaughter for human consumption had ended in the United States for several years, so meat buyers have been transporting the animals to facilities in Mexico and Canada.

The Humane Society of the United States said on its website that congressional action in late 2011 on funding for U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections could lead to slaughterhouses being opened domestically.

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