By court order, the cattle of Larry and Matt Mikoloyck will be sold Tuesday afternoon, March 21, at the North Platte Stockyards.

Lincoln County District Judge Michael Piccolo issued the order on Wednesday, March 15.

Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling told the court that, as of that day, there were 1,155 head of Mikoloyck cattle in custody. Harling said the total varies daily, depending on deaths and births. She said 16 head died since they were first rounded up, and 21 new calves had been born. Also, at least a couple more head were said to still be roaming the hills near the Lincoln-Logan County line, with a dozen or so horses running loose in Logan County, according to attorneys and sheriff’s deputies.

The cattle were seized on March 2 by the Lincoln County sheriff’s office, following a two-week investigation.

After the roundup, the cattle were placed with the North Platte Stockyards and will remain there until sale day. Harling told the court that the total cost of feed and care, as of March 15, amounted to $76,500, with another $13,500 for trucking and veterinary charges.

She said the stockyards, truckers and veterinarian will be paid from the proceeds of the sale. After those charges are paid, the lienholders (lenders) will also be paid from the proceeds.

The investigation was conducted with the help of the Nebraska Brand Inspectors Office and aircraft from the Nebraska State Patrol. Lincoln County Sheriff Jerome Kramer said investigators found “a mess” with little-to-no sign of livestock management. On March 2, the remains of 134 cattle and at least 44 sheep were found in the pastures, according to a sheriff’s affidavit filed with the court.

A veterinarian inspected 85 living cattle to determine the average body condition of the cattle in the herd, and said just seven head, or 8% of the sample, were healthy animals of normal weight.

Each defendant was charged with 20 counts of animal abuse.

An independent review of the condition of the cattle will be conducted by another veterinarian at the request of the defendants, Lincoln County Judge John Jay has said.

Also, all references to Mikoloyck’s sheep in the March 15 court order were redacted. Those sheep remained in the care of an agent of the Mikoloycks.

Attorneys for both parties reached the agreement of the sale and distribution of proceeds prior to the March 15 hearing. Piccolo found probable cause existed for the cattle to be seized and he authorized the disposition agreement.

The Mikoloyck cattle are expected to be sold at auction at the Stockyards after the regularly scheduled sale is over on March 21.

Larry Mikoloyck initially claimed that he could not afford an attorney and asked the court to appoint a public defender to represent him, but later, he hired his own attorney, Chevas Shaw. Matt Mikoloyck is represented by attorney Audrey Kingston.

Larry Mikoloyck is a former Nebraska Brand Inspector.

The Mikoloycks are now out of jail on bond. Each of them paid the required 10% of their $100,000 bond, according to court records. They have been ordered to return to county court for preliminary hearings on the animal abuse charges on March 23.

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