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Tag Archive | "animal cruelty"

Man pleads guilty in horse barn fire


 

Payton Mellama

Payton Mellama, 20, of Lowell, pled guilty this week to Arson 3rd degree and animal cruelty for a fire he started at a Lowell barn that caused the death of 13 horses and significant damage to the propery.

Mellama was a neighbor who had previously volunteered at the Center for Equine Learning, which was operated out of the barn. Mellama had a long history of mental health and behavioral issues.

After months of investigation, by the Kent County Sheriff’s Dept., in cooperation with the Kent county Prosecutor’s office, Mellama admitted his involvement in a statement to investigators during the course of plea negotiations. The parties entered into a plea agreement, designed to protect the community while still addressing the defendant’s circumstances. The man points of the agreement are:

  1. He will serve a 5-year-term of probations, with no early release or attempts to seek release.
  2. He will be continually housed and treated for the first three years at a residential facility with may include electronic tethering..
  3. Mellama will have no contact with victims or property, nor with the property he currently lives on,

This agreement ensures that the defendant will be housed in a secured facility for at least three years and receive the treatment he needs.

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Man sentenced in cat killing


Michael Stackhouse

Michael Stackhouse

A Cedar Springs man convicted of killing a cat outside his home was sentenced last week to serve 16 months to nine years in prison.

Michael Patrick Stackhouse, 35, killed the cat in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates last April by stomping on it. It had reportedly jumped over a partial door barrier and entered his mobile home on Susan Street. His wife called 911 and reported it was fighting with their dogs, then told dispatch her husband may have killed it. Officers found that the man had thrown the cat into the street, and killed it in front of children and neighbors. He admitted to stomping on the cat’s head, because it was twitching from seizures. He told reporters that he did it to put it out of its misery.

He rejected a plea deal in May that would have reduced his sentence if he pled guilty to a charge of animal cruelty causing death. Under the plea deal, he would not have been charged as a multiple felony offender and would have faced no more than a year in jail.

 

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Man convicted in cat killing


Michael Stackhouse

Michael Stackhouse

A Cedar Springs man rolled the dice and lost.

Michael Patrick Stackhouse, 35, killed a cat outside his home in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates last April. He was reportedly offered a plea deal in May that would reduce his sentence if he pled guilty to a charge of animal cruelty causing death. Under the plea deal, he would not be charged as a multiple felony offender, which could have reduced his sentence. But he rejected the deal, and instead decided he wanted a jury trial.

His decision backfired this week when he was convicted by that jury on the animal cruelty charge. He was remanded to jail immediately to await sentencing.

It started on April 7, when a call came into police dispatch, with the caller telling them that a cat had jumped over a partial door barrier to their mobile home on Susan Street, and then went inside the home and was fighting with their dogs. Later the caller said the cat was dead and that her husband may have killed it.

When officers investigated, they found that the man had thrown the cat into the street, in front of children and neighbors. He admitted to then stomping on the cat’s head, because it was twitching from seizures.

Stackhouse never denied he did it. He told reporters that he did it to put it out of its misery.

Killing and torturing an animal is punishable by up to four years in prison and a $5,000 fine. As a two-time felony offender, the judge could sentence him prison time up to eight years. Under the plea deal, he would have faced no more than a year in jail.

He is scheduled to be sentenced November 18.

 

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Man facing animal cruelty charge


Michael Stackhouse

Michael Stackhouse

A Cedar Springs man was arrested last week for killing a cat that had wandered into his home in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, a call came into police dispatch on Monday afternoon, April 7, with the caller telling them that a cat had jumped over a partial door barrier to their mobile home on Susan Street, and then went inside home and was now fighting with their dogs. Later the caller said the cat was dead and that her husband may have killed it.

When officers investigated, they found that the man had thrown the cat into the street, in front of children and neighbors. He admitted to then stomping on the cat’s head, because it was twitching from seizures.

Police arrested Michael Patrick Stackhouse, 35, of Cedar Springs, on Wednesday, April 9 on a charge on a felony charge of animal cruelty causing death. He is also being charged as a habitual offender-3rd offense. Bond was set at $100 cash or surety, and he later bonded out.  A preliminary exam was set for Monday, April 21, at 9:45 a.m.

 

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