Pullman Area Rancher Jailed For Longtime Inability To Keep His Cows Fenced-In Released Early From Custody

The Pullman area rancher jailed for his longtime inability to keep his cows fenced in has been released early from custody.

70-year-old Marcus Jacobson was sentenced to 3 months in jail by Whitman County District Court Judge John Hart last month.  A jury convicted Jacobson on misdemeanor animals at large for failing to keep his cows fenced in on his ranch on State Route 26 near LacCosse.  He was initially ordered to spend two days in jail if he could prove that he could keep his cows fenced in.  The Whitman County Sheriff’s Office proved to Judge Hart that Jacobson’s cows were still getting out which led to the three-month sentence.

Jacobson told the court that a neighbor and a friend were going to take care of his cattle while he was in jail.  That help fell through while he was in jail leaving his cows without feed and uncared for.  Authorities couldn’t find anyone else who was able or willing to work with Jacobson to feed his cattle while he was in jail.  With the cows going hungry and colder winter temperatures on the way the Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office was forced to ask that Jacobson be released from jail before the end of his sentence.  He was released from custody on Tuesday so he could feed his cows.

The Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office says Jacobson’s decades-long inability to keep his cows fenced has become a danger to the public.  Motorists have hit his stray cows 3 times.  One crash nearly killed a Pullman man on U.S. Highway 195 South of Pullman when one of Jacobson’s bulls was hit in September of last year.

Jacobson now faces a more serious charge of animal cruelty.  He also has 8 more animals at large charges pending.  Jacobson is set to be back in court on January 14th.

The Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office estimates that he has about 175 head between his two ranches.