Northwestern Press

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Eckhart to serve 3-10 years for animal cruelty charges

Friday, April 12, 2019 by Susan Bryant in Local News

A Lehigh County man who has faced numerous charges of abuse of animals over the years, was sentenced April 3 to three to 10 years in prison by Judge James T. Anthony in Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas.

Derbe “Skip” Eckhart, 51, who has lived in Heidelberg Township and the Emmaus area, faced 94 counts of cruelty to animals stemming from four separate search warrants served in May 2017 as well as January and June 2018.

Eckhart, represented by Attorney Alfred Stirba IV, of Orefield, has been in jail since July 2018.

He had been charged with three felonies, as well as numerous third-degree misdemeanors and summary counts of cruelty to animals, neglect of animals and operating a kennel without a license.

According to Lehigh County Criminal Court records, Eckhart also pleaded no contest to intimidating a witness.

In May 2010, Eckhart was found guilty of two counts of cruelty to animals and three counts of violating an immediate cease and desist court order banning him from operating a kennel.

He was sentenced to six to 23 months in county jail and three years probation.