Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19626
Classification: Mutilation/Torture
Animal: cat
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Drugs or alcohol involved
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Friday, Apr 6, 2012

County: Sussex

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Ashley Barnes

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

A Delaware kitten-killer is on the run after crushing three defenseless two-week-old pets to death with her bare hands.

The woman, Ashley Barnes, 21, is accused of stealing a friends prescription medication and then ripping apart her kittens in a drug induced frenzy.

One of the kittens was reported to have had its intestines hanging out when the owner discovered the grizzly scene and all three were rushed to a local veterinarians.

Unfortunately on the way there one of the kittens died and the other two had to be euthanized on arrival according to

Florida resident, Barnes, was staying in Millsboro, Delaware at the time of the incident on April 6 and was arrested and arraigned at the Justice of the Peace Court and released on a $1,000 unsecured bond.

She was scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at the Court of Common Pleas in Georgetown on April 25, however she failed to do so.

The Delaware Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is now seeking the whereabouts of the woman who is charged with three felony counts of animal cruelty for allegedly killing the kittens.

Staying with her friend in Millsboro, Barnes had been confronted by her friend about stealing her medical prescription according to the court records.

The kittens' owner said Barnes 'appeared to be under the influence of medications' and became very upset when accused of stealing the drugs according to

The owner called a friend to come and assist her in controlling the agitated Barnes, but when they went to check on her they found a door to a bedroom where the kittens were kept lying ajar.

Going inside to check they found the gruesome scene of bloody kittens.

'It's an unconscionable and shocking act,' said Dr. Carol A. Tavani, a board-certified neuropsychiatrist and executive director of Christiana Psychiatric Services about details in the court documents.

'If she was truly on something, maybe she was under the influence of some substance,' said Tavani.

'But even so, everybody under the influence of a substance does not become violent and even sadistic, which was the case here. Because if you look at it, this was in retribution for an accusation.

'To go from simply being under the influence ... to actually act on a sadistic idea is very much darker than just being under the influence or even just being sort of a nasty person.

'This is a person who is maybe beyond very troubled.'

According to the SPCA, the group filed charges after investigating the incident.

Under the state laws of Delaware, the police as well as the SPCA have the ability to enforce laws relating to animal cruelty.

'That's a very cruel person who could do something like that,' said Clare Mace, president of Cats Around Town Society, a group that works in Delaware with the SPCA.

'The method, that's just down and out cruelty. I just can't imagine a human being being able to do that to another living thing. That's horrible.'

Psychologically, people usually associate acts of cruelty against animals as being a personality defect of the attacker, however, some experts believe that not to be the case.

'It can be an attempt to retaliate against another person or cover up some form of other concern from being discovered,' said Michael Ferrari, professor at the University of Delaware's Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

'For example, the person might be otherwise being abused, perhaps even being sexually abused, and this act calls attention to something other than that behavior.'

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Ashley Barnes, contact the Delaware SPCA Georgetown Shelter at 302-856-6361.

Case Updates

Officials say a woman accused of fatally crushing three kittens is in police custody.

The Delaware Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says 21-year-old Ashley Barnes of Florida was arrested early Wednesday by Wilmington police. She is being held on $3,000 secured bond on three charges of animal cruelty.

Barnes was arrested on April 17 and released on unsecured bond. A warrant was issued for her after she failed to appear for a preliminary hearing on April 25.

SPCA investigator Amy Nicholson said the incident happened on April 6 while Barnes was staying with friends in Millsboro, and that Barnes may have been under the influence of drugs at the time.

Nicholson says Barnes had been staying in Delaware for only about five weeks.
Source: Palm Beach Post
Update posted on May 11, 2012 - 6:19PM 


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