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Monday, Dec 3, 2007County: San Bernardino
» Angel Rice - Alleged
» Donald Cooper
» Allen Rice - Alleged
» Ashley Kennedy - Alleged
Case Updates: 1 update(s) available
A report of three children playing unattended in the street brought Deputy Jeff Farrar to a home on Victor Avenue near El Centro Street Monday morning.
The children had gone inside by the time Farrar arrived. There, he found more serious neglect.
"Two bedrooms had animal feces, the smell of animal urine on the carpet," Farrar said. "Some animals were in the bedrooms, some in the garage, some in the backyard."
Thirty-three animals were found on the property, from caged snakes to dogs and cats, said Tony Genovesi, Hesperia's code compliance supervisor.
Seven children, aged two to 10, were living at the house, according to the Hesperia sheriff's station.
The adults in the home were Angel Rice, mother of five children; her boyfriend, Donald Cooper; her brother, Allen Rice, father of one child; and Ashley Kennedy, mother of one child.
All four were arrested and booked at Victor Valley Jail and West Valley Detention Center on child cruelty charges.
Bail was set at $100,000 for everyone except Kennedy, whose bail was set at $50,000, said spokeswoman Roxanne Walker of the Hesperia station.
Animal cruelty charges will also be added based on the emaciated state of some dogs, Farrar said.
The animals included 14 dogs, nine of them puppies; eight cats, three of them newborn kittens; and 11 snakes that were mostly boas and pythons, Genovesi said. Two snakes were about 10 feet in length.
Farrar said he does not often see conditions like this, but, "I've been on nine years, and I've seen more than a handful of houses in this condition."
Hesperia's Code Enforcement Division has declared the home uninhabitable until it is cleaned up, Genovesi said. While animal hoarders frequently keep dogs and cats, "it's kind of unusual for us to get this many snakes."
|A man who escaped prison time for having sex with the corpse of a 4-year-old girl is behind bars after pleading no contest to animal cruelty, a violation of his probation.|
Donald Luis Cooper, who worked in 2003 for a firm transporting bodies from Victor Valley Community Hospital to the San Bernardino County coroner's office, was arrested after a morgue security camera recorded the sex assault.
The Adelanto preschooler had died of the flu.
Cooper wasn't charged with necrophilia because it wasn't illegal in California at the time. He pleaded guilty to mutilating grave remains and received a suspended two-year prison sentence and was placed on five years' probation.
Earlier this month, sheriff's deputies were called to a feces-stained, urine-soaked Hesperia home where Cooper, 32, lived with three other adults, seven children and 31 animals.
"There were animal feces and urine on the floor, in the children's room, the living room. There were feces on the wall," Code Enforcement supervisor Tony Genovesi said.
Cooper was arrested and charged with seven counts of willful cruelty to a child with the possibility of injury or death. He pleaded no contest to a single count of animal cruelty and the other charges were dismissed.
But the no contest plea violated his probation and the two-year prison sentence was reinstated, Supervising Deputy District Attorney Gary Roth said. Cooper is serving his sentence at the California Institution for Men in Chino.
"The guy shouldn't be around children," said Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, who sponsored the legislation in 2004 making necrophilia a felony.
|Source: SFGate/Associated Press - Dec 31, 2007|
Update posted on Jan 2, 2008 - 5:30PM
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