Justice Served for Cat Scalded to Death!
Justice Served for Cat Scalded to Death!
The trio who sadistically tortured a cat were in court on Tuesday, and we were there to make sure justice was served. Laderrick Oneal Rostchild, his uncle, Larry Rostchild, and Karmen Coleman (Ladderick's partner and the mother of the couple's four children) were arraigned on charges of animal cruelty and rendering criminal assistance. Ladderick and Larry were given the maximum sentences allowed, and Karmen pled "not guilty" and will have a trial, and hopefully face justice soon.
Judge Keith Miller presided Over Moss Point Municipal Court and here's what happened.
Defendant Laderrick Oneal Rostchild was given his hearing on the charge of "Aggravated Cruelty to a Cat" because, as a parolee, he could not bond out. He pled "not guilty," but the evidence in the case was irrefutable. Laderrick was found guilty of diabolically dousing the trapped cat with two pans of boiling water.
Laderrick's public defender grasped for straws and relied on bravado in his attempt to give cause that Laderrick’s case should be dismissed. He presented three points, beginning with absurdly arguing that Karmen had testified that she couldn’t remember the events of the day when he cross examined her. (The fact remained that she gave an account of the event in detail to the prosecuting attorney.) He even tried to lead her into saying she was on drugs so she didn’t remember. She gave both Rostchilds up.
The second argument the public defender laid out was that the court didn't have jurisdiction to prosecute the case which was refuted by the judge during his ruling.
Finally, the public defender argued that the law specified "a domesticated cat or dog." The judge pointed out that cats are not wild animals, but are in fact domesticated.
It was an oversight that the veterinarian who performed the necropsy was not subpoenaed. The findings of the necropsy were not admissible due to this oversight. The public defender attempted to sway the judge by posing the possibility that the cat found dead might have been uninjured when Karmen Coleman released him and that he might have been hit by a vehicle, or that maybe someone else harmed him. The investigator countered this and the judge didn’t fall for that cause either.
Laderrick was found guilty and handed the maximum fine of $2,500 to be paid within 90 days of his completion of a six month jail term, and that within 72 hours of his release from jail he must begin 200 hours of supervised community service at the Jackson County Animal Shelter. We can only hope he will be closely supervised while at the shelter.
Larry Rostchild pled not guilty and then returned to the courtroom and decided to plead guilty to simple assault on the cat. He was handed the maximum $1,000 fine, will serve 30 days in jail, and will within 72 hours of his release from jail too begin 200 hours of supervised community service.
Karmen Coleman pled not guilty to her role in videoing the crime and will be appointed a public defender and assigned a court date.
Animal advocates present for court gave the court a moment to clear the defendants and then clapped for law enforcement and Judge Keith Miller.
Prior to court, our In Defense of Animals' Justice for Animals Campaign Director Doll Stanley met with Commander Stacey Deans and with media outlet WLOX present, she presented our petition letter and the list of 13,000+ signers. WLOX interviewed the commander and Doll Stanley.
Two days earlier, on Sunday, February 5, In Defense of Animals' Justice for Animals Campaign held a candlelight vigil in front of the Public Safety Building in Biloxi, Mississippi, which houses the police department and municipal court. The vigil brought attention to the failure of the Mississippi state legislature to pass a first offense felony “aggravated cruelty to a dog or a cat” statute.
The vigil focused on four of many recent aggravated cruelty cases In Defense of Animals' Justice for Animals Campaign has been involved in. Among the four cases was this Moss Point, Mississippi case in which three adults, at the “grandmother’s home,” along with four of two of the adults' children present, orchestrated the scalding of a live cat in a humane trap for their amusement. The mother of the children videoed the heinous crime and posted it on Snapchat.
We thank all of you who signed our alert and shared this story over social media. We can't bring the poor cat back, but we can punish people who hurt animals and hope it deters future incidents of animal abuse.