McINTOSH COUNTY, Oklahoma - A McIntosh County rancher received a deferred sentence in a case of animal cruelty after starving cattle were removed from his property. James Franklin Eddy will not be charged with the felony crime if he completes the terms of an agreement proposed by McIntosh County District Attorney O.R. Barris III.

The malnourished cattle were removed from Eddy's land on March 29, 2013. Neighbors say at least 30 more were found dead.

The district attorney finds that there is sufficient evidence to charge Eddy with felony animal cruelty as the animals were "willfully and cruelly" deprived of food. Under terms of the agreement, Eddy must pay vet and feed bills - estimated at $25,000 - for the surviving animals.

"The result will be that he, not the taxpayers, will bear the expense necessary in this matter," Barris wrote in the deferred prosecution agreement filed April 25, 2013.

Once the veterinarian finds the animals healthy enough for sale, Eddy must donate $10,000 of the sale price to the Oklahoma State SPCA.

Eddy also "will be prohibited from being involved in any manner in the cattle business in the future," the agreement states.

If the 76-year-old Eddy successfully completes the agreement, the felony animal cruelty charge will not be filed. Barris notes that the McIntosh County resident has had no prior known involvement with law enforcement.