Attorney General Announces Sentencing In Horse Theft Case

DENVER – Attorney General John Suthers today announced the sentencing of a mother and daughter for the theft of seven horses from Kansas and Utah.

The Attorney General’s Office, with the assistance of the Colorado State Brand Board, investigated Donja Vaughn and her mother, Sharon Vaughn, for the theft of horses occurring in 2000 and 2002. A statewide grand jury indicted the pair for numerous counts of theft, theft of animals, forgery, attempt to influence a public servant and conspiracy. The attorney general later filed additional counts of perjury, forgery, tampering with physical evidence, and defrauding a secured creditor.

Donja Vaughn was convicted at trial of theft of certain animals, forgery, defrauding a secured creditor, tampering with physical evidence, perjury, attempting to influence a public official and conspiracy. Sharon Vaughn pled guilty to perjury.

On July 13th, El Paso District Judge G. David Miller sentenced Donja Vaughn to 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections for her crimes and sentenced Sharon Vaughn to 3 years in the Department of Corrections.

In addition to these criminal acts, Donja Vaughn and Sharon Vaughn have been convicted of theft in Montezuma County for staging a robbery of the Southwest Colorado Federal Credit Union. Sharon Vaughn pled guilty to theft and Donja Vaughn was convicted by a Montezuma County Jury on May 10, 2006 of Theft and Conspiracy to Commit Theft. Sentencing in that matter is set for July 20, 2006.

In commenting on the case and the sentencing Attorney General Suthers said, “This case indicates that Colorado still takes horse thievery very seriously. We’re please the court believed the defendants’ actions merited serious punishment.”

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