LITTLE RIVER CO., AR (KSLA) - An Oklahoma woman convicted of horse theft back in April returned to an ArkLaTex court Tuesday to face new charges.
Wendi Cox was convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison for her part in the theft of five horses from Southern Arkansas University stables.
Now a resident of the Arkansas Prison System, Cox appeared in a Little River County, AR., courtroom on cattle theft charges. During the appearance, Cox took a moment to talk with KSLA News 12.
Asked about her conviction in the horse theft case, Cox says, "I'm innocent. I am innocent of what I am in here on today. I was at work, and I will prove that I was at work."
Claiming that her 60-year sentence is "excessive," Cox adds, "I have never been in trouble in my life."
Cox is housed in Newport, AR., where she says she has met many women with charges similar to the ones on which she was convicted.
The Hayworth, OK., woman says she hopes to get her conviction overturned, in part because of testimony by Billy Hamilton and George Berrish III, co-defendants in the horse thefts and also the cattle thefts in Little River County.
"They allowed Billy Hamilton and George Berrish to be housed in the same place, [to] talk about what they were going to say before they got on the witness stand and ride over in the same bus together."
Cox chose not to take the stand to defend herself during her trial because she says her "daughter was just as innocent as me, and if anybody had to go to jail for it, it was going to be me."
Jacee Jackson, Cox's daughter, was at the center of the SAU investigation.
Before Tuesday's hearing, Little River prosecutors offered a plea agreement in the cattle thefts, but Cox refused to accept it. Judge Charles Yeargan set a trial date for July 15.
Prosecuting attorney Brian Chesshir says he thinks the cattle theft case will go to trial.
"With the attitude we have seen of [Cox] today and the fact that she was so bold to stand up in front of the camera and tell you her story, yes, I do expect her to go to trial."
Cox still has to answer additional horse theft charges in Oklahoma, where SAU's stolen horses were located.