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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Rolla woman found guilty of animal abuse

  • A Rolla woman was found guilty last week of six counts of animal abuse after abandoning dogs in a trailer in 90-degree temperatures with no air conditioning and no windows open.
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  • A Rolla woman was found guilty last week of six counts of animal abuse after abandoning dogs in a trailer in 90-degree temperatures with no air conditioning and no windows open.
    Phelps County Associate Circuit Judge Ronald White found Cassandra J. Lewis-Robbins, 24, guilty of the charges, Class A misdemeanors, July 25.
    During the trial, Phelps County Assistant Prosecutor Brad Neckermann presented evidence that showed Lewis-Robbins owned a female dog and its five young puppies in a residence in unincorporated Phelps County – just outside of Rolla.
    Neckermann’s evidence showed that in late September of 2013, Lewis-Robbins left her residence for an extended period of time and left the six animals behind to fend for themselves.
    An employee of a local rental company who stopped by her residence noticed the strong smell of urine and feces from outside the residence.
    Phelps County sheriff’s deputy Tony Pezzuti responded, along with Rolla Animal Control Officer Kathleen McMeen. They both found all six dogs in a state of near starvation.
    Attempts to save the animals proved unsuccessful, and the animals eventually had to be euthanized after being diagnosed with Parvo disease.
    Pezzuti and McMeen testified on behalf of the prosecution.
    The defense called four witnesses – the defendant and three of her family members who all testified that this was a misunderstanding.
    Neckermann argued that this was a terrible tragedy that should never have happened and said the defense witnesses were just trying to cover for one another and deny responsibility.
    In reaching his decision White said, “It’s not my job to issue sermons, but needless to say based on the credibility of all of the witnesses who testified here today, I find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt as to all six counts of animal abuse.”
    After the verdict Neckermann said, “This is one of the saddest cases I have had to prosecute. It’s terrible for the victims when any crime occurs, but in this case we had six innocent dogs who had to be killed because of this woman’s inexcusable decision to abandon them in a trailer in 90-degree temperatures with no air conditioning and no windows open.”
    Sentencing in this case has been set for Sept. 4.
    On that date, White could sentence Lewis-Robbins up to one year in jail, a fine of $1,000 or a combination of jail time and a fine as to each of the six counts.

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