MAGNOLIA, AR (KSLA) - The high-profile criminal investigation into the theft of five horses and the killing of one here in the ArkLaTex now has a national following on "Sweet Home Alabama," a reality show on Country Music Television.
Shaun Smith is from Emmet, Arkansas and a member of the rodeo team at Southern Arkansas University. Just days before leaving to be a part of CMT's reality dating show, Smith found out his horse 'Credit Card' had been stolen.
"That's the hardest thing I've ever gone through in my life", says Shaun, after deciding to leave for the show while investigators searched for his horse and four others stolen from the SAU stables in Magnolia.
While taping of the reality show continued in Alabama, Shaun received a call from his father. That call was to tell Shaun his horse had been found across state lines in Oklahoma, mutilated.
CMT's cameras were rolling when Shaun was given the news. His emotional reaction aired on the January 20, 2012 episode. "I'm glad my dad watched out for me. He didn't actually tell me what happened while I was there."
"I don't see how can you do this to an animal, a domesticated animal, looking you in the eyes, wondering what's going on." When asked how he felt about those accused in the death of Credit Card, Shaun responded, "I don't have hatred anymore to the people involved in that. I wasn't in those individuals' heads. I don't know what they were thinking."
Jackson remains free on bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for March 13, and will deal with felony theft and cruelty charges, as well as the arson charges that Jackson and her mother are facing in a separate case. In a preliminary hearing, the court decides whether there is enough probable cause to take a case to trial.
The McCurtain County District Attorney Mark Matloff says there will be no plea deal.
'Sweet Home Alabama' airs Friday nights on CMT.
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