Case Snapshot
Case ID: 20036
Classification: Stabbing, Choking / Strangulation / Suffocation
Animal: cat
More cases in Santa Barbara County, CA
More cases in CA
Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
Login to Watch this Case

New features are coming soon. Login with Facebook to get an early start and help us test them out!


Attorneys/Judges
Defense(s): David Ogren
Judge(s): John McGregor, Patricia Kelly


For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.



Thursday, Jan 2, 2014

County: Santa Barbara

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Nellie Palacios

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

The Orcutt woman suspected of stabbing and choking her ex-boyfriend's cat to death in January entered a plea of not guilty to 1 count of felony animal cruelty February 11th, according to the District Attorney's office.

Nellie Palacios, 43, appeared before Superior Court Judge John McGregor accompanied by her court-appointed attorney David Ogren.

On January 2nd deputies from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department responded to the 4600 block of Hummel Drive in Orcutt after a man in the home called 911 alleging his girlfriend, later identified as Palacios, entered the house and began removing paintings off the wall. He also reported seeing her choking and stabbing a cat with a large knife, authorities said.

Sheriff's deputies believe Palacios used a large kitchen knife to stab the cat, whose body was discovered inside an Igloo-style doghouse in the backyard of the residence. The knife allegedly used to stab the feline was located under the doghouse, authorities said. When interviewed by deputies Palacios said she killed the cat in self-defense because it had attacked her and she was treated at a local hospital for scratches before being transported to jail.

In January McGregor released Palacios from custody on her own recognizance and told her that she must comply with court orders to take mood-altering medications prescribed by a doctor.

McGregor also ordered her to report to a court-designated psychologist to prove she met with a doctor and is taking her prescribed medications. The judge told Palacios he would revoke her release and send her back to jail if she failed to follow the court order.

Palacios' case was assigned to Judge Patricia Kelly.

Her next court date to set a preliminary hearing is February 26th, according to the District Attorney's office.

If convicted, Palacios faces a maximum sentence of a year in Santa Barbara County Jail and a fine of up to $20,000.


Case Updates

Nellie Palacios, the 43-year-old Orcutt woman suspected of stabbing and choking a cat to death in January, was in court Wednesday to answer to one count of animal cruelty. A preliminary hearing date set for April 16 was continued until May 14, according to prosecutor Chrystal Joseph.

Palacios appeared before Judge Patricia Kelly at Superior Court in Santa Maria accompanied by Senior Deputy Public Defender David Ogren, her court-appointed attorney.

On Jan. 2, deputies from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department responded to a 911 call from a man in the 4600 block of Hummel Drive. The man, later identified as Palacios' boyfriend, called authorities to report that his girlfriend had entered the house and began removing paintings off the wall. He also reported seeing Palacios choke and stab a cat with a large kitchen knife.

The body of a cat was discovered in the backyard of the residence along with a knife. Palacios told law enforcement that she stabbed the cat in self-defense because it attacked her. Before being arrested, Palacios was treated at a local hospital for scratches.

Judge John McGregor released Palacios on her own recognizance in January provided she comply with the court orders to take to take mood-altering medications prescribed by a doctor and report to a court-designated psychologist. If she fails to abide by the court order, McGregor told her he would revoke her release and send her back to jail.

Her next court date, a preliminary hearing setting, is set for April 30 in Department 8 at the Superior Court in Santa Maria.

If convicted, Palacios faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up of $20,000.
Source: Santa Maria Times - April 10, 2014
Update posted on Apr 20, 2014 - 4:08AM 
A woman suspected of stabbing and choking a cat to death inside of an Orcutt home in January was back in court on Wednesday to answer to one count of animal cruelty, and a preliminary hearing date was set for April 16.

Nellie Palacios, 43, who is out of custody, appeared before Superior Court Judge Patricia Kelly in Santa Maria accompanied by her court-appointed attorney, Senior Deputy Public Defender David Ogren.

Deputy District Attorney Chrystal Joseph is prosecuting the case against Palacios and told Kelly, who was assigned the case in February, that the upcoming preliminary hearing will take approximately one hour to complete.

Palacios, of Orcutt, was arrested Jan. 2 after deputies from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department responded to a 911 call from a man in the 4600 block of Hummel Drive. The man said his girlfriend, later identified as Palacios, entered the house and began removing paintings off the wall. He also reported seeing Palacios choke and stab a cat with a large knife, authorities said.

The body of a cat was discovered in the backyard of the home inside of an Igloo-style dog house, and a knife was located under the dog house. Authorities believe the Orcutt woman used the large kitchen knife to stab the cat.

When interviewed by law enforcement Palacios told deputies she killed the cat in self-defense because it had attacked her. She was treated at a local hospital for scratches before being transported to jail.

In January, Judge John McGregor released Palacios from custody on her own recognizance, provided she comply with court orders to take mood-altering medications prescribed by a doctor and report to a court-designated psychologist. If she fails to abide by the court order, McGregor told her he would revoke her release and send her back to jail.

Kelly told Palacios that she must continue to comply with all prior orders.

Her next court date, a review hearing, is set for April 9 in Department 8 at the Superior Court in Santa Maria.

If convicted she faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up of $20,000.
Source: Santa Maria Times - March 20, 2014
Update posted on Apr 20, 2014 - 4:08AM 

References

« CA State Animal Cruelty Map
« More cases in Santa Barbara County, CA

Note: Classifications and other fields should not be used to determine what specific charges the suspect is facing or was convicted of - they are for research and statistical purposes only. The case report and subsequent updates outline the specific charges. Charges referenced in the original case report may be modified throughout the course of the investigation or trial, so case updates, when available, should always be considered the most accurate reflection of charges.

For more information regarding classifications and usage of this database, please visit the database notes and disclaimer.