COURT CALENDAR

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1994:

Crimes Against Humans
Larry Gibson, 33, ex-deputy
sheriff for Douglas County, Oregon,
was arrested April 14 in Townsend,
Montana, for the alleged murder of his
two-year-old son Tommy on March 18,
1991. Gibson claimed he was jogging
when the boy disappeared, while his wife
was indoors; their daughter, then four,
said strangers drove off with him.
Unconvinced, investigators theorized in
May 1991 that Gibson shot his son by
accident while killing a neighbor’s cat
near the time of the disappearance.
Gibson’s wife, daughter, and another
son born since then recently left
him––whereupon the daughter, now
seven, told police she actually saw
Gibson strike Tommy, then stuff him
into a garbage bag.

Malcolm C. Hamilton Jr., 47,
of London, Kentucky, allegedly killed
the two family dogs on March 17; wife
Cynthia, 36, is charged with manslaugh-
ter for shooting him dead moments later.
An Akron woman drew 15
years to life in prison on April 5 when a
jury rejected her claim that the family pit
bull terrier raped her 7-year-old son last
November 1, finding instead that the boy
was severely injured when she jammed a
blunt object into his rectum as punish-
ment for defecating in his pants––and
then inserted the dog’s semen to create an
alibi. Under Ohio law she must serve 10
years before receiving a parole hearing.
John David Martin and his
girlfriend JoAnne Trethewey, of
Pittsburg, California, allegedly plotted to
poison Martin’s pregnant wife Rebecca
with liquid nicotine, but lost their nerve
after killing a cat whom the Martins gave
to Trethewey several months ago after
Mrs. Martin complained of allergies.
They then arranged an ambush on March
30: Trethewey fired 20 shots, hitting
Mrs. Martin four times. She survived, as
did her baby, who was born by emer-
gency Caesarian section. Mr. Martin and
Trethewey were charged April 5 with
attempted murder and conspiracy.
Originally set for May 2, the
trial of alleged serial killer Thomas
Huskey, 33, in Knoxville, Tennessee,
has been delayed indefinitely. Known as
“Zoo man” among local prostitutes,
Huskey had worked as an elephant trainer
for menagerie owner Kevin Antle and the
Knoxville Zoo, which reportedly fired
him for rough handling. Arrested while
allegedly raping a prostitute, Huskey is
charged with four murders and 25 counts
of rape, robbery, and kidnapping.
A 19-year-old alleged rape
victim testified on April 6 in Ellsworth,
Maine, that she was attacked by Craig
Eaton, 33, of nearby Veazie, last
October 13, after her boyfriend and
Eaton took her out to jacklight deer fol-
lowing an evening of drinking, but failed
to find any deer to kill.
Class B Dealers
Former animal dealer Joe Hickey, 36,
of Albany, Oregon, is scheduled to present a $1 mil-
lion defamation suit against his godmother Merthal
Settlemier to a jury in Linn County, Oregon, on July
18. Settlemier accused Hickey of abusing animals
and dealing in stolen pets in a July 1990 segment of
the ABC news program 20/20. Linn County Circuit
Judge James C. Goode ruled in 1991 that Hickey had
no case, since evidence presented in a USDA hear-
ing had established that the remarks “which were
alleged to be slanderous are true or substantially
true.” A similar suit Hickey filed against ABC was
dismissed on the same grounds and dismissed in
January 1992 by U.S. District Judge James Redden,
whose verdict was upheld by the U.S. 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals in July 1993. However, the
Oregon Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court
have ruled that Hickey’s case against Settlemier
should be tried. Hickey surrendered his USDA Class
B dealer’s permit in 1992. He may also face legal
action soon for allegedly stalking his ex-wife, who
holds a restraining order against him. That case is
reportedly still under investigation.
Ervin Stebane, 73, of Kaukauna,
Wisconsin, on March 28 became the first Class B
animal dealer to lose his license for life. Stebane
surrendered his license in a plea bargain settlement of
multiple charges of violating Animal Welfare Act
standards for animal care and recordkeeping. In
business since 1972, Stebane had been in trouble
with the USDA off and on at least since 1983, and in
1987 was fined $1,500, a stiff penalty by the stan-
dards of the time, for similar offenses. The Stebane
case drew national attention after Chris DeRose of
Last Chance for Animals videotaped him last May in
the act of killing a dog for undercover agents DeRose
paid to say they wanted to buy a dog to eat. Charges
laid in connection with that incident were dismissed
on grounds of entrapment and because Wisconsin
law does not forbid dog slaughter for human con-
sumption.
Humane Enforcement
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled unanimously on April 1
that states may forbid imports of exot-
ic species from other nations to protect
native species from disease. The ruling
upheld the lower court dismissal of a suit
filed by the Pacific Northwest Venison
Producers and the Washington
Alternative Livestock Association, who
held that a Washington state ban on
imports of elk, mouflon sheep, sika deer,
and fallow deer violated the Commerce
Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
Former school bus driver
Daniel A. Paulus, 44, of Fredonia,
Washington, was charged with cruelty on
March 16 for asking his passengers,
“Should I hit that dog?” and then fatally
injuring a Brittany spaniel belonging to a
9-year-old girl––who was reportedly the
only passenger to shout “No.” Paulus
admitted making no effort either to aid
the dog or to contact the owners. The Port
Washington-Saukville School District
fired him soon afterward.
The USDA on March 23 fined
Trans World Airlines $60,000, the
biggest penalty ever imposed on an air-
line for Animal Welfare Act violations,
for its part in the deaths of 56 puppies en
route from puppy mills to pet stores due
to parvovirus aboard a flight from Kansas
City to St. Louis on May 24, 1992.
The American SPCA seized
66 bullfrogs on March 27 from a Queens
supermarket that caters largely to Asian
immigrants. The frogs were allegedly
kept in filth, without food or water, on
the verge of freezing, and were slaugh-
tered and skinned to order after purchase.
Selling dead frogs is legal, but selling
live frogs for human consumption is not.
Robert Thomaszewski, 27, of
Waukegan, Illinois, drew a year in jail
and was ordered to pay $909 restitution
on April 6 for cutting a 10-year-old black
Labrador’s throat outside a supermarket
in January. The case energized efforts to
strengthen the Illinois cruelty laws.
Misconduct
Ann Millan, director of the
Agency for Animal Welfare, in
Scranton, Pennsylvania, has pleaded
not guilty to charges of fostering unsani-
tary conditions at the AAW shelter. The
state agriculture department revoked the
AAW’s kennel license after dog law
enforcement officer George Nixon found
on February 15 that the indoor tempera-
ture was just 15 degrees Fahrenheit,
cages were allegedly caked with excre-
ment, the cages lacked drains, and the
outdoor runs were buried under 18 to 24
inches of snow. Claimed Millan, “Snow
is good for animals.” In October 1992
the Scranton zoning board ordered Millan
to close another kennel she was using
illegally on the property of Frank Tunnis,
whose own kennel license was yanked
several years earlier because he allegedly
kept dogs underfed and knee-deep in
feces. Millan allegedly made no effort to
install the sewer system required to make
continued use of the facility. Just a
month later, a Scranton zoning inspector
found at least 53 cats, 41 of them caged,
in the home of a Millan associate, Denise
Matyewicz. She was ordered to remove
them within 30 days. The caged cats
were said to have been confiscated by the
AAW in an animal collector raid.
Alexander Thomas, 19, an
ex-Pennsylvania SPCA driver, is to be
tried June 2 for felony dogfighting. The
PennSPCA hired Thomas on July 28,
1993, but fired him on August 25 after
receiving information that he was a dog-
fighter and had tried to steal a dog. He
was arrested November 10 for another
alleged dog theft. That charge was
dropped, but the dogfighting charge was
laid when police found him in possession
of two emaciated, dehydrated, scarred
pit bull terriers and dogfighting parapher-
nalia. Police say the mangled carcasses
of at least 20 animals were found in near-
by Fernhill Park during the year before
his arrest. Dogfighting continues in three
other local parks, neighbors say.
Walter Kilcoyne, DVM, of
Clarksville, Tennessee, kept his license
to practice at an April 11 disciplinary
hearing, but was ordered to take a course
in proper animal restraint. Kilcoyne, one
of seven veterinarians employed by
Ronald Whitford, DVM, allegedly
abused several dogs and cats who were
part of Whitford’s Love At First Sight
adoption program, formerly underwritten
by the North Shore Animal League.
NSAL suspended relations with the pro-
gram upon learning of the charges.
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