Ryland Haynes

Ryland Haynes

HOLBROOK, ST. JOHNS—Since October, 2019, Ryland Hunter Haynes, 20, has faced five felony allegations in the Navajo County Superior Court with regard to two dead horses found September 30 of that year. The shot-through horses were discovered near Capps Ranch Road, north of State Route 260 in Pinedale.

A grand jury indicted Haynes on two counts of unlawfully killing livestock, two counts of criminal damage, all Class 5 felonies, and one count of disorderly conduct with a weapon, a Class 6 felony.

His attorney Ron Wood of Show Low notified the court last week that the defense is ready to enter into a plea agreement, possibly to a misdemeanor charge or charges. That change of plea is expected to happen August 8. According to court records, a misdemeanor plea deal has been in the works since before March 2020, but the sticking point has been the amount of restitution that Haynes must pay the alleged victims.

The law says that if a criminal act caused someone to suffer an “economic loss,” the convicted person must pay into court an amount of money, typically in monthly payments, which is then paid to the victim(s). Restitution does not include compensation for pain and suffering, or “punitive damages” meant to financially punish the wrongdoer, but can include wages lost by the victim from attending court.

In the meantime, it looks like Haynes jumped out of the pan, as the saying goes. He’s been charged in Apache County for three new felonies and five misdemeanors. The new charges are DUI and drug related. He’s been accused of possessing marijuana, paraphernalia and endangerment. Endangerment in Arizona is a felony if it involves “as substantial risk of imminent death,” according to the statute. He was also charged with furnishing liquor to a person under the legal drinking age. Whether that charge is connected to the endangerment charge will become clear as the case proceeds. His next court date is Apache County Superior Court is tomorrow, July 15.

Reach the reporter at rlynch@wmicentral.com

(1) comment

Bad road ahead

Thanks for the update.

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