In Defense of Animals Supports Guardian in Quest for Justice for Slain Pot-Bellied Pig
Doll Stanley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 662-809-4483
Kala Elmore, 662-444-2888
MARKS, MS (April 11, 2018) – In Defense of Animals, the international animal advocacy that operates Justice for Animals Campaign and Hope Animal Sanctuary in Carroll County, Mississippi, is aiding a Quitman County woman in her quest for justice for the fatal shooting of her “pet” companion pot-bellied pig, Jolene. More than 9,000 In Defense of Animals supporters have signed a petition calling for justice.
The case will be heard tomorrow, Thursday, April 12, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. in Quitman County Justice Court, with Judge Joe Brown presiding.
“Gunning down an animal on private property in a residential neighborhood is reckless, cruel, and dangerous,” said Doll Stanley of In Defense of Animals. “Jolene’s guardian has been left devastated by the traumatic and sudden loss of her beloved companion. This sad case highlights how current statutes are failing to protect all animal companions equally and we will be working with legislators to update the laws to ensure that meaningful penalties can be applied in future. We will be calling on the Judge to grant justice for Jolene.”
Illiah Kurraukin Webb of Marks, Mississippi was arrested on March 22, charged with animal cruelty and bonded out. He is now additionally charged with trespass and firing a weapon from a motorized vehicle.
On March 5, 2018, Kala Elmore of 1910 Charlie Pride Hwy, Lambert was at work when she received a call that a man had driven into her neighbor’s drive and shot Jolene, Kala Elmore’s companion pot-bellied pig, five times.
Kala’s neighbor, “Bubba” Bud Chun II, heard the shots and rushed out his door to see a man in a vehicle and Jolene lying dead bleeding by his home. Jolene visited between the two residences.
Webb had spun an alibi that a man in a black car had shot Jolene and he left under the pretense of trying to catch up to the vehicle to get a license plate number. He returned, likely to retrieve Jolene and carry her off. Kala’s father, who was standing on his porch at the time of the shooting, confirmed that he heard the shots and saw Illiah Webb’s vehicle in the drive. The Quitman County Sheriff’s Department was summoned and while questioning Webb they discovered the five spent cartridges in his vehicle.
Kala Elmore contacted In Defense of Animals for advice. The investigator she spoke with informed her that Webb could only be charged with malicious mischief. In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign director, experienced in handling animal cruelty cases in Mississippi for 25 years, proposed that Webb be charged with cruelty to an animal, trespass, and the firing of a weapon from a motorized vehicle. It was understood Jolene’s slaying would not be charged under § 97-41-15. Maliciously injuring livestock.
At issue is the animal cruelty charge under § 97-41-1: Cruelty to living creatures, a misdemeanor that includes needlessly killing any living creature, except dogs and cats who garner greater protection under a tougher statute. The penalty for this crime is a maximum $1,000 fine or imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Mississippi Misdemeanor refers to a minor crime that inflicts little or no injury to the other person or the public good. In this case, injury was caused and public good violated. The life of a young woman has been changed by the senseless slaying of her companion and the paltry sentencing does little to deter such crime. Because Jolene was a pig, classified as “livestock” under § 97-41-15: Maliciously injuring livestock, In Defense of Animals is questioning the incongruence in charging Webb with a lesser statute.
Judge Joe Brown who will be hearing the charge of animal cruelty against Webb recently ruled that an individual who had a pot-bellied “pet” pig must move the pig from the Town of Sledge, MS, located in Quitman County. Though the 2000 census shows a population of 529 citizens there is an ordinance against the keeping of “livestock.” Judge Brown’s ruling is clear. He has determined that a pet pig, pot-bellied, or other breed, is “livestock.”
Kala Elmore wrote to In Defense of Animals, “I was told that they could not charge the guy with the felony (§ 97-41-15: Maliciously injuring livestock) because Jolene was my pet. I’m just confused by this because horses are pets and considered livestock but not my pig? I need help to make sure this guy does not get away with killing her.”
For the intentional shooting of another person’s “pig for profit” Webb would be facing a felony charge of mandatory imprisonment of not less than 12 months, nor more than five years incarceration and a $1,500 - $10,000 fine. Additionally, Webb would be ordered to pay restitution in the “current replacement value” of the animal, veterinary fees, special supplies, loss of income, and other related costs. “For purposes of this section, the term "livestock" shall mean horses, cattle, swine, sheep and other domestic animals produced for profit.” Jolene was produced for profit by the person who sold her to Kala Elmore.
In Defense of Animals has served in the Deep South for 25 years, aiding victims and law enforcement, and courts with hundreds of cruelty cases. In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign is working tirelessly to advance the cause for justice and show state legislators that the people of Mississippi are united against senseless and horrific animal abuse.
For more information, please visit www.idausa.org
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In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals campaign is actively working with officials in communities, building a groundswell of support for establishing and amending city and county ordinances as part of its campaign to show state lawmakers that Mississippians will not tolerate animal cruelty.
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 30-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare and habitats through education, campaigns and hands on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi.