MEDIA RELEASE: Grave Disappointment in Cat Torture Case
MARIETTA, Ohio (August 18, 2021) – In Defense of Animals is deeply disappointed by the August 17 outcome of a case involving Eric Rollins, who was arrested for torturing and burning his then-girlfriend’s cat in Ohio last year. Despite being indicted on both felony and misdemeanor cruelty, the felony charge is likely to be dropped.
On June 16, 2020, Eric Rollins called his girlfriend, Carina Ealy, at work to tell her that he had bathed their cat Prince, and was blow-drying him. In a second call to Ealy, Rollins said that Prince had defecated and he would have to bathe him again. When Ealy returned from work after a late shift, she noticed a small smoldering pile in her yard. She dismissed it as smoldering grass as Rollins had cut the lawn that day.
The following morning Ealy and Rollins argued over his drinking the night before, which broke an agreement allowing him to move back in after a previous breakup over his abusive behavior. Law enforcement was summoned, and Rollins packed and left.
It wasn’t until Rollins departed that Ealy made a sickening discovery. She found evidence that Prince had been brutally chased and beaten from his bath to the basement and it was Prince’s remains that were smoldering in the yard. Law enforcement was summoned again and when questioned, Rollins admitted to killing Prince.
On July 22, 2020 the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was given a summons for Rollins. On August 7, 2020 the summons was served and Rollins was booked. He was charged with cruelty to animals, which is a fifth-degree felony. On July 2, 2020 the charge was amended to a first-degree misdemeanor. More than 12,000 people signed In Defense of Animals’ alert calling for Rollins’ prosecution.
Doll Stanley, In Defense of Animals’ Justice for Animals Campaign Director joined Ealy and attorney Karen Slomba of Alley Cat Allies in a conference call with Prosecutor James Schneider and the investigator on the case.
“It was clear on the call that the prosecutor’s intent was to move through pending cases without consuming the resources that a felony conviction would take. Individuals who have a propensity for violence should be taken off the streets and rehabilitated so they are no longer a threat. Sadly, Rollins may one day soon meet this courts’ standard for a felony prosecution,” said Stanley. “I am deeply disappointed that there is no justice for Prince and his traumatized, grieving guardian. Many thousands of In Defense of Animals supporters wrote to urge a felony prosecution for cat-torturer Rollins, highlighting the proven link between abuse of animals and humans.”
Judge John Halliday has ordered an investigative hearing on August 24, a pre-sentencing hearing on September 23, and sentencing on September 28, that Rollins, who is now in Mississippi, must be present for, at which time he will be sentenced for the misdemeanor and the felony charge will be dropped.
Meanwhile, grieving guardian Ealy was not notified of Tuesday’s hearing until the morning of, which was a discourtesy and potential threat to her gaining justice for Prince.
“After the hearing today, I find myself disheartened and in awe. The investigating officer gave the prosecutor’s office everything but a conviction and they won’t follow through with it. I’ve lost my faith in justice, as will so many people who fought for our felony law. To make it worse, the prosecutor told me that he wasn’t prepared for this case,” said Ealy.
Doll Stanley, firstname.lastname@example.org, (662) 809-4483
Carina Ealy, email@example.com, (304) 531-1434
In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 38-year history of protecting animals’ rights, welfare, and habitats through education, campaigns, and its hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi. www.idausa.org/Justice4Animals
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