CASE UPDATE! (November, 2006)
An individual who gave two cats to Angel Wings (AW) who were not recovered in the Jun, 2005, seizure spoke with the assistant DA, Patty Murphy, a few days before Thanksgiving. Patty Murphy is in charge of the AW case now (Trail date is set for March 27, 2007). Here is a summary of their conversation. RH is Rehnee Harvey.
Patty seems genuinely interested in prosecuting this case. With that being said, she told me that she is hoping for a plea deal with RH. Patty said if Rehnee pleads guilty to at least two counts of animal cruelty, she will be charged with a felony...one no. but 2, yes. She expects RH to plead guilty to several counts of animal cruelty. In return, RH will have to meet certain demands...she will be charged a very large fine, she will have to pay restitution, she will never be able to own an animal again, except the animals she owned prior to Angel Wings? Patty told me this will be monitored by the local shelter. She will also be required to be in therapy. Also, this will also apply to her husband/Ex Terry. I just tried as best I could to be an advocate for the former animals at AW and for everyone who has/is working so hard to help these animals. I encouraged Patty to step up to the plate and to not let RH and her husband get off lightly with little more than a slap on the wrist. Hoarding is a very serious illness, and is RH is not monitored closely, she will be right back abusing/killing animals again. She is kinda like a child molester...no cure. I just hope authorities up there watch her closely for months and months after her trial. And...What if she were to move? I think she should have to wear a tracking device. She is no better than the animals who died at her hands. But, society won't see it this way, and certainly not the DA's office. Patty M. assured me that is not taking this lightly, and, she doesn't want to seem as if she is going soft on RH. Again, I encouraged Patty to understand my viewpoint that just because RH has a heart attack, it's not good enough for her to use this as an excuse and apologize and be set free. Patty assurred me that RH and her husband would not get off that easily.
CASE UPDATE! (October, 2006)
Many people have written to ask what has happened in the case pending against Rehnee Harvey. She WAS indicted on 187 counts of animal cruelty in Oct 2005. She WAS scheduled to go to court on these charges on Aug 11, 2006. WAS is the opertaive word. Supeonas had been issued by the DA. Witnesses were ready to testify against Ms. Harvey. Then three days before the trial all witnesses who had been supoened received a letter from the DAs office stating that the case had been continued. The judge had recused himself from the case for reasons that were not explained to us. The DA's office told us that the trial would be rescheduled for Nov/Dec. We have still not gotten confirmation on this date! To further complicate this situation, the DA who had worked so hard on this case, Scott McCluen, lost the election. As of September 1, Roane County has a new DA. Given that we have no trial date and a new DA about whom we know nothing and have no history with, the who knows to what extent, if any, Rehnee Harvey will be punished.
We are so sorry that we cannot share better news. If anyone feels inclined, call the Roane County DAs office and ask that this case be given attention NOW. The phone number is 865/376-2145. We will continue to post updates on this web page as we receive new information.
Underdogs for Cats
Tennessean.com No-kill animal shelters lack regulation above local level 12/05/05
Roane Newspapers Angel Wings 10/24/05
Roane County News - Roane County: Cat rescue at center of debate 8/31/01
WBIR.com: Dozens of animals left without permanent homes after Roane County rescue 8/5/2005
Roane County News - Roane County: Cat rescue head indicted on 37 counts of cruelty 6/27/05
Volunteer TV: Animal rescue owner charged with abuse 6/05
Volunteer TV: Officials shocked at animal abuse charges 6/05
Roane County News - Roane County: McCluen's office investigating Angel Wings 5/26/05
Animal Hoarders: The Illness and the Crime (PETA Article)
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