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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Az. Senator’s Son Charged|With Animal Cruelty

PHOENIX (CN) - Two couples - including the son of U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake - have been indicted on animal cruelty charges after 21 dogs died in June from heat exhaustion in their kennel.

A grand jury indicted Green Acre Cage Free Boarding owners Jesse and Malesia Hughes on 22 felony counts and 7 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, and one felony count of fraudulent schemes and artifices.

The jury also charged Sen. Jeff Flake's son, Austin Flake, and Austin's wife, Logan, on 21 felony counts and 7 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals.

"Today's indictment is the result of a thorough review of the extensive investigation into this incident and a decision to seek charges based on objective facts," Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said in a statement Thursday. "We now look forward to the next step in seeing that justice is served in this case."

A lawsuit filed in September against the Hugheses and the Flakes by the dogs' owners claimed the dogs were locked in a 9-by-12 room, where they died from overheating or carbon monoxide buildup. The Hugheses allegedly left the property in the care of the Flakes while they were on vacation.

The dog owners say the Hugheses told them that their pets ran away from the kennel, though most were found dead or seriously ill on the kennel property. The Flakes allegedly did not seek treatment for the sick dogs.

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