Editor's note: After Cohen passed bi-weekly inspections over a three-month period, the town of Hilton Head's municipal court dropped 14 of the 17 charges on June 28, 2013 . "The defendant has made vast improvements above and beyond...and will continue to improve the living quaters [sic] of all the animals," court records said. The remaining three charges were dropped in December 16, 2015. Records did not indicate why these particular charges were dropped later than the others.
A ruling in the trial of a Hilton Head Island man facing 17 misdemeanor charges of animal cruelty was delayed Friday.
Lawyers representing both sides -- defendant Michael Cohen Jr. and the Town of Hilton Head Island -- requested a 60-day delay. A new court date was set for April 26.
Cohen is accused of failing to provide clean drinking water -- or no water at all -- for horses, dogs and pigs on his property near Spanish Wells Road. The town also claims he did not provide adequate shelter for the animals.
If Cohen improves the animals' living conditions, the charges might be dropped, town attorney Brian Hulbert said.
The parties are nearly in agreement about what constitutes acceptable living conditions for the animals, but they requested the delay to consult the S.C. Department of Livestock and Poultry for guidance about suitable shelter for horses and pigs.