LANCASTER – A former assistant superintendent with the Palmdale School District was sentenced Thursday to 270 days in county jail and ordered to attend two-dozen animal cruelty classes for the abuse of 19 pit bulls found at her Antelope Acres home.
Pauline Ruth Winbush, 53, was also ordered to serve five years on formal probation in connection with her April 5 no contest plea to one felony count each of possession with intent for dog fighting and animal neglect.
Co-defendant Kevin Williams, 52, was sentenced to a year in jail, along with 24 animal cruelty classes and five years probation.
Williams — described by prosecutors as Winbush’s boyfriend when the two were charged in 2014 — pleaded no contest to the same two charges as Winbush.
A judge suspended state prison terms of three years and eight months, which the two will not have to serve unless they violate the terms of their probation.
A third defendant, Rodney Scott, 47, pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of animal cruelty. He is set to be sentenced next April.
In late 2014, officers from the county’s Department of Animal Care and Control searched Winbush’s Antelope Acres property after a horse belonging to Winbush and Williams was found roaming the streets. They discovered dogs being kept inside the home in crates that were filled with feces and urine, according to Deputy District Attorney Lyle Riggs.
Some of the dogs showed signs of being used for dog fighting, and the animals had to be euthanized. Other animals found included a tortoise, snakes and a box full of mice that appeared to be eating each other out of hunger, Riggs said.
At an earlier court hearing, it was revealed that evidence discovered at the property linked Scott to the couple in an operation to breed pit bulls for fighting, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
At the time of the raid, Winbush was an assistant superintendent for the Palmdale School District, whose board voted unanimously last year to terminate her employment agreement.
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