Man who released race horses from the Stark County Fairgrounds has been found not guilty by reason of insanity

Man who released race horses from the Stark County Fairgrounds has been found not guilty by reason of insanity
Jonathan Ford (Source: Canton Police Department)

CANTON, Ohio (WOIO) - The man who released 15 race horses from the Stark County Fairgrounds has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jonathan Ford, 28, had a bench trial in front of Stark County Common Pleas Judge Chryssa Hartnett.

Ford released the horses on Jan. 14 and was arrested several hours later.

14 of the horses were caught in the surrounding neighborhood and safely taken back to the barn.

Unfortunately, one horse, named Cash, drowned in Meyers Lake.

“I’m used to him alive and happy and healthy and to see him dead like that and basically frozen, and to have to pull him out-- it really hit me when i was hauling him at the farm away,” said Mike Soehnlen, Cash’s owner. “This was supposed to be a lively horse.”

Court officials said Ford is doing well on his medication and will remain out of a secure facility.

Ford will be back in court on Jan. 22, 2020 for a review hearing.

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