(CA - US) Activists urge treatment for suspected puppy killer
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Mon May 5 09:58:39 EDT 2003
May 4, 2003
Activists urge treatment for suspected puppy killer
By ROBYN MOORMEISTER
Sentinel Staff Writer
SANTA CRUZ Animal rights activists say the man accused of beating his puppy to death in a Santa Cruz hotel room should have his head examined.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the worlds largest animal rights group, fired off a letter to Assistant District Attorney Christyn Long imploring her to aggressively prosecute and recommend extensive psychological treatment for Brock Reid Evans, 28, of British Columbia.
Evans pleaded innocent last month to charges that he beat to death his 3-month-old shepherd-mix puppy the morning of March 12 in his room at the Coast Santa Cruz Hotel.
He told police that it was his dog, and he could do what he wanted with it.
PETA caseworker Martin Mersereau said animal cruelty is a "red flag" signaling the potential to victimize people.
"It is proven that people who have a history of abusing animals are part of this desensitivity slippery slope, " Mersereau said. "You start off with insects, and you move your way up to your neighbor or your wife."
Long said she takes PETAs concerns seriously, and that she and investigators in the District Attorneys Office are pursuing the case "to their fullest abilities."
Santa Cruz police said Evans hit the puppy with his hands several times and hurled the animal against a wall. After finding blood and other evidence of a killing inside the room, they found the puppy wrapped in a sheet outside the hotel.
Evans was charged with felony animal cruelty and is out on $25,000 bail.
He was scheduled to appear in Santa Cruz County Superior Court Monday for a preliminary hearing. The hearing has been postponed because a police officer would not be available to give his witness statement.
Since charging Evans in March, Long has tacked on an additional charge of felony animal cruelty, but if Evans is found guilty, she said, he most likely will be sentenced on one charge.
"The second charge is just a different way of proving the conduct," Long said.
In his letter to Long, Mersereau asked that if he is convicted and in addition to prison time Evans be required to undergo "a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling and anger-management classes at his own expense."
"Animal abusers are cowards," Mersereau said. "They take their issues out on the most defenseless beings available to them."
Long said that if the court sentences Evans to probation, counseling could be part of that sentence, and if the judge opts for prison time, "we will decide what is appropriate then."
She said prisons offer psychological counseling for inmates.
Evans could face a maximum sentence of up to three years in state prison.
Long said in addition to the letter from PETA, she has received several letters from county residents expressing concern about the brutality of the crime.
Contact Robyn Moormeister at rmoormeister at santa-cruz.com
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