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Whitewood man indicted on more than 30 animal neglect, cruelty crimes

Thomas L. Mraz is charged with 5 counts of felony animal cruelty and 26 counts of animal neglect.
Thomas L. Mraz is charged with 5 counts of felony animal cruelty and 26 counts of animal neglect.(Lawrence County Sherriff's Office)
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 10:07 AM MST
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DEADWOOD, S.D. (KEVN) - A Whitewood man whose property was littered with neglected dogs formally heard his charges.

Thomas L. Mraz entered a not guilty plea to 26 counts of animal neglect and five counts of felony animal cruelty before Fourth Judicial Circuit Court on Thursday.

Mraz was arrested after Lawrence County Sheriff’s deputies discovered dozens of mistreated dogs at his home last October. At least one dog was malnourished and multiple dead puppies were found in a van outside his residence.

Animal neglect is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail, a $2,000 fine or both. Animal cruelty is a Class 6 felony with a maximum sentence of two years in prison, a $4,000 fine or both.

Mraz is scheduled to appear in court for these charges on April 1.

Additionally, a case summary list obtained from the Lawrence County Clerk of Courts also shows Mraz is facing a fourth-degree rape charge that is alleged to have occurred in Meade County.

The Whitewood man pleaded not guilty to the rape accusation on Nov. 18, 2020 and will appear before a Meade County court for a status hearing on March 31, 2021.

Fourth-degree rape is a Class 3 felony with a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, a $30,000 fine or both.

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