Couple in animal cruelty case nearing plea deal

SUMMITVILLE, Ind. - An Indiana couple charged in an animal cruelty case that shocked investigators last spring hopes to reach a plea agreement before their scheduled trial in April.

The Herald Bulletin reports prosecutors and attorneys for Daniel and Carrie Ault are working on a deal. Both face 96 charges of improper disposal of a dead animal, 15 counts of animal cruelty and two counts of neglect of a dependent child.

Investigators found 171 dead animals and 165 that were still alive when they arrived at the Aults' property near Summitville on April 9. County officials said the living animals were among the carcasses. Most of the surviving animals were malnourished, lacked clean water and were surrounded by feces.

Cummings and defense attorney Bryan Williams say a plea agreement is close.

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