- All Honorable Judges of the Harlan County, KY District Court
- United States of America
Dec 3, 2008
Three Lejunior men pleaded guilty to charges of cruelty to animals in Harlan District Court on Monday after witnesses alleged the men shot a dog, beat it with a hammer and left it to die under a bridge.
Steven Russell, Kevin Coots and Scott Mefford were originally charged with first-degree cruelty to animals, a Class D felony, but pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second-degree cruelty to animals, a Class A misdemeanor.
The men accepted a plea deal of a 12-month sentence probated for 24 months and agreed to not participate in any violent activity with animals.
Members of the Harlan County Humane Society alleged that the men shot the dog in the leg, causing it to crawl underneath the home of a nearby resident. The men allegedly dragged the animal out from under the home and attempted to kill it with a ball-peen hammer before shooting the animal several more times underneath a bridge.
The original charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
According to KRS 525.125, first-degree cruelty to animals is constituted whenever a four-legged animal is caused to fight for pleasure or profit and can be applied to the owner of the animal, the owner of the property on which the fight is conducted or anyone who participates in the organization of the fight.
The men accepted a plea agreement which allowed them to enter a guilty plea to the lesser charge of second-degree cruelty to animals, which prosecuting attorney J.D. Smith said met the definition of the alleged crime.
Second-degree cruelty to animals is defined by KRS 525.130 to be when a person intentionally or wantonly subjects an animal to injury, mistreatment or cruel neglect, or kills an animal, but makes exceptions including licensed hunting, self-defense or pest control.
In July, “Romeo’s Law,” named after a Pulaski County dog that was severely tortured, made the torture of dogs or cats a Class D felony if the animal suffers serious physical injury or death. Under the law, torture that results in physical injury, as opposed to “serious physical injury,” is a Class A misdemeanor on the first offense and a Class D felony for each subsequent offense.lea to the lesser charge of second-degree cruelty to animals, which prosecuting attorney J.D. Smith said met the definition of the alleged crime.
Above Article is From the Harlan Daily Enterprise
We, the undersigned, request that the Harlan County, Ky General District Court, Harlan, KY reconsider its ruling on December 1, 2008, of the Animal Cruelty Case.
We feel that the alleged torture that this poor dog went through.: shot, beat with a hammer, left to die under a bridge, was unjust and the sentence far less than deserved.
The Reconsider ANIMAL CRUELTY case petition to All Honorable Judges of the Harlan County, KY District Court was written by L K Rice and is in the category Animal Rights at GoPetition.