Darrington man sentenced in death of 2 horses he starved

He submitted an Alford plea, not admitting guilt but acknowledging a jury would likely convict him.

EVERETT — A Darrington man who let two horses starve to death and skipped out on court hearings was sentenced over the summer.

The horses were found with no food — no hay and nothing to forage — and the only source of water was frozen in the cold winter three years ago.

Prosecutors wrote that Andrew Floe, 58, mistreated the horses between October and December 2017. They endured “substantial and unjustifiable physical pain,” causing suffering and, finally, death.

Floe was sentenced in Snohomish County Superior Court on Aug. 18 with two counts of second-degree animal cruelty. He initially was charged with first-degree animal cruelty.

The sentence called for 364 days in jail, though that was suspended. Floe was placed on probation for two years, during which time he can’t own or care for any animals. He also will have to pay court fines.

He made an Alford plea, meaning he doesn’t admit his guilt but acknowledges that, based on the evidence, a jury likely would convict him.

An animal control officer first responded on Dec. 6, 2017, to reports of a sorrel quarter horse gelding lying dead under some power lines off of Highway 530, outside Darrington. The horse was emaciated; his ribs, spine and hip bones were visible through the skin. An animal control officer said it appeared the horse had been dropped off.

The person who reported the dead horse said he appeared to match one owned by a man, identified as Floe, who lived about a half-mile away.

The next day, the animal control officer found another dead sorrel quarter, also emaciated, just a hundred yards away from the first. She’d been dead long enough to be frozen and covered in ice.

Necropsies showed the horses had little body fat and that they weren’t killed by injury or illness.

Six other horses at the man’s home also appeared under-fed, though Floe claimed otherwise. Their only shelter appeared to be a falling down tarp. At least two were taken to a veterinarian for emergency care and were found with lice and skin infections.

At the time of his arrest, Floe denied that he owned the two horses that were found dead. He claimed not to know who they belonged to.

Early on in court proceedings, Floe was an elusive defendant, as he skipped court hearings and became the subject of arrest warrants. He was scheduled to plead guilty as early as July 2019, but he had questions about his plea that couldn’t be answered right away, according to court documents. The next month, he backed out of the plea altogether. The trial was delayed several times before he appeared in court in August, when he made the Alford plea.

Zachariah Bryan: 425-339-3431; zbryan@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @zachariahtb.

Talk to us

More in Local News

FILE - A Boeing 747-8, Boeing's new passenger plane, takes its first flight, Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Paine Field in Everett, Wash. After more than half a century, Boeing is rolling its last 747 out of a Washington state factory on Tuesday night. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Boeing’s last 747 to roll off the Everett assembly line

The Queen of the Skies was dethroned by smaller, more fuel-efficient jets. The last 747s were built for a cargo carrier.

PUD workers install new transformers along 132nd Street on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022 in Mill Creek, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Electric vehicles spur big forecast jump for PUD demand

Not long ago, the Snohomish County PUD projected 50,000 electric cars registered in the county by 2040. Now it expects up to 660,000.

Traffic moves northbound on I-5 through Everett on Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Grinding work still needed for I-5 through Everett

Construction crews need warmer temps for the work to remove what a reader described as “mini raised speed bumps.”

After a day of learning to fight fires, Snohomish firefighter recruit Chau Nguyen flakes a hose as other recruits load the hoses onto a fire truck April 19, 2018, at the training facility on S. Machias Rd. in Snohomish. (Andy Bronson / Herald file)
Lawsuit: Everett firefighter sexually harassed numerous recruits

Chau Nguyen resigned earlier this year, long after the first complaint about his behavior at the county’s fire training academy.

Pilchuck Secret Valley Tree Farm owner Paul Dierck walks through a row of trees on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Christmas trees, a Washington cash crop, get a little more spendy

Christmas tree farms generate about $688,000 each season for Snohomish County farmers. Some are still open for business.

Marysville to pay $1M to another former student for alleged sex abuse

The latest settlement marks the earliest known allegations against Kurt Hollstein, who worked in the district until last year.

Mike Rosen
Businessman Mike Rosen announces campaign for mayor of Edmonds

Rosen, a city planning board member, is backed by five former Edmonds mayors. It’s unclear if incumbent Mike Nelson will run again.

The Everett Police Department was investigating a woman's death Sunday morning after a driver hit and killed her on Broadway in north Everett. (Everett Police Department)
Woman killed by suspected impaired driver in Everett

A driver reportedly hit the person, which prompted the closure of Broadway between 17th and 19th streets Sunday morning.

Ty Juvinel stands beside the towering welcome figure that he created for the Edmonds Waterfront Center on Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
‘Our heritage is a gift’: 500-year-old log is carved into Tulalip welcome

The wooden figure represents matriarchs who “can see the potential you have that you don’t know yet,” explained artist Ty Juvinel.

Most Read