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Wednesday, Sep 14, 2005County: Fremont
» Nicholas "Nick" Ried Millsap
» Terry Holliman - Dismissed
Case Updates: 18 update(s) available
The City of Hamburg and Hamburg Police Chief Nick Millsap are being sued in connection with the destruction of several dogs.
The suit, filed by Elizabeth Brock, formerly of Hamburg, is for the "malicious, willful and wanton killing of plaintiff's dogs without right or authority." Brock's attorney, Jon Johnson, said a boxer, bichon frise, two bichon-pug mixes, a black lab, a boxer-lab mix and a mini cocker spaniel-lab mix were taken to the country and destroyed by Millsap in mid-September. According to Millsap, the seven dogs were found to be abandoned at 102 Argyle St., the home of Kevin Culley and Elizabeth Brock, who were both incarcerated at the time.
"We went to check on the situation with the permission of the land-lady," Millsap said." All the animals appeared to have some sort of skin disease and were malnourished." Millsap says at this point he called the Fremont County Veterinary Clinic in Sidney to see if the animals could be taken there. "The clinic said because of the large number of animals, their condition and the chance they could have a contagious disease, they couldn't take them," he said.
Dr. Richard Jamison, veterinarian at the Fremont County Veterinary Clinic, says that the clinic does not turn animals away. "I told him that we'd find room if we had to, but to check around and call back," Jamison said. "He never called back so we assumed he'd found some place to take them." Millsap says he asked Mayor Terry Holliman what to do about the dogs. "He said it would be best if we euthanize them ourselves," Millsap said. "Truthfully, it was a bad situation and I never want to do it again." Holliman said he could not comment on the case accurately without looking at an unspecified file and would not say if he had ordered the dogs to be shot. Millsap says he was within the law by shooting the dogs. "According to the Iowa Code, we do have the right to do what is necessary," he said.
During the Dec. 12, 2005 council meeting, Millsap formally requested that the police department no longer be used for the purpose of animal control. "I don't like having to put dogs down," he said. "It's so frustrating."
Currently Chapter 55 of the Code of Hamburg reads: "When an animal has been apprehended and impounded, written notice shall be given in not less than two days to the owner, if known. Impounded animals may be recovered by the owner upon payment of impounding costs, and, if an unvaccinated dog, by having it immediately vaccinated. If the owner does not redeem the animal within seven days, the animal may be humanely destroyed or otherwise disposed of in accordance with law."
The claim was filed on Dec. 6, 2005 in Fremont County Court and served to the City of Hamburg (Georgann Stephens) on Dec 9, 2005 and to Nick Millsap on Dec.12, 2005. Jon Johnson, attorney for the plaintiff, told the Hamburg Reporter that the city has 20 days to answer and then a court date will be set.
In response to the News-Press story about the city of Hamburg and its police chief being sued over the destruction of several dogs, Hamburg Police Chief Nick Millsap said the dogs were destroyed because of an "animal welfare issue," not because of abandonment. Therefore, he said, the city ordinance quoted in the story was not the pertinent law. He said, "The legality of the disposition of injured/diseased animals established in the Iowa Code, 717B.2(10) and 717B.3A(2)j" were "the authority for the animal control action taken by the police department."
He also said that he did not talk directly with Fremont County Veterinary Clinic, but rather that he "requested our dispatch at the Sheriff's Office contact the veterinarian on call to see about impound for the animals we had in custody."
|According to court records, on August 1, 2007, Nick Millsap was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation under a deferred entry of judgment. |
The former Hamburg police chief pleaded guilty to one count of animal abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor. The remaining counts were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Millsap was initially charged with seven counts of animal abuse after it was alleged that he removed seven dogs and puppies from a Hamburg residence in September 2005, and killed each of them - six by gunshots and one by stomping on its head.
No jail time was imposed, and if Millsap successfully completes probation, he may be eligible for a dismissal after one year. Court records do not indicate that he is prohibited from owning animals, required to complete counseling, or perform any community service work.
|Source: Fremont County Court Case # 04361 AGCR006089|
Update posted on Aug 2, 2007 - 4:02PM
|Animal abuse charges have been dismissed against a mayor in southwest Iowa who was accused of telling his police chief to kill seven dogs.|
Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman was scheduled to stand trial Tuesday on seven counts of animal abuse, but prosecutors dropped the charges a day earlier.
Holliman was arrested in February 2006, five months after then-Police Chief Nick Millsap killed the dogs without the owner's consent.
Millsap has said he called Holliman and a Fremont County dispatcher seeking advice on what to do with the animals, which a landlord claimed were damaging property.
Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber was a special prosecutor in the case. He said he dropped the charges after learning Millsap planned to testify that the dispatcher, not Holliman, influenced his decision to kill the dogs. Authorities said Millsap initially told them the mayor also influenced his decision.
|Source: KCCI News - Jul 11, 2007|
Update posted on Jul 11, 2007 - 2:12PM
|The former Hamburg police chief has entered a guilty plea in connection with an incident where seven dogs were shot and killed in 2005.|
Nick Milsap entered a written plea of guilty to one count of animal abuse in Fremont County District Court earlier this week.
Milsap was charged with seven counts of animal abuse after it was alleged that he, along with former Hamburg police officer Jarid Means, removed seven dogs and puppies from a Hamburg residence on Sept. 15, 2005 and killed each of them - six by gunshots and one by stomping on its head.
The dogs' owner, Elizabeth Brock, filed a claim against the City of Hamburg, Milsap and Means. On Feb. 14, 2006, Fremont County Magistrate Court Judge Dennis James awarded Brock a total of $3,500 in damages and restitution.
In an interview with Shenandoah radio station KMA in January of 2006, Milsap expressed remorse over the incident, which drew attention from animal rights groups nation-wide, including the Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Milsap asked the court for a deferred judgement, and sentencing will be July 30.
Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman was also charged with seven counts of animal abuse in connection with the case. He has pled not guilty to the charges, and his trial is set to being July 10.
The Pottawattamie County Attorney's office is prosecuting the case at the request of former Fremont County Attorney Vicki Danley, who cited a conflict of interest a the reason for the request.
The Pottawattamie County Attorney's office had filed a change of venue request for Holliman's trial, but withdrew that request earlier this week.
Each of the seven counts of animal abuse is an aggravated misdemeanor which carries a potential of two years in prison on each charge.
According to the Iowa Code, a person is guilty of animal abuse if the person intentionally injures, maims, disfigures or destroys an animal owned by another person, in any manner, including intentionally poisoning the animal.
Holliman's case is scheduled to go to trial July 10 at the Fremont County Courthouse.
|Source: Valley News Today - June 21, 2007|
Update posted on Jun 24, 2007 - 10:44PM
|Prosecutors in the case against Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman withdrew their motion for a change of venue in Fremont County District Court Monday.|
Holliman is charged with seven counts of animal abuse after allegedly authorizing former Hamburg Police Chief Nick Millsap to shoot seven dogs and puppies in September 2005 after a landlord complained they were damaging the property.
Shelly Sedlak of the Pottawattamie County Attorney's office, who is prosecuting the case after former Fremont County Attorney Vicki Danley withdrew citing a conflict of interest, had requested the trial be moved from Fremont County following the mayor's highly publicized felony theft trial there in April.
He was found not guilty of all charges in that trial.
Holliman has said he never directed or permitted Millsap to dispose of the dogs after they were removed from a Hamburg home.
Under Iowa law, "A person is guilty of a public offense if ... an employer is also criminally responsible for directing or permitting an employee to commit a public offense."
The dogs' owner, Elizabeth Brock, was in jail when the animals were killed and later claimed her daughter had been taking care of the dogs, but they hadn't been let out of the house enough.
Brock was awarded $3,500 in damages in a small claims lawsuit against Millsap and the city of Hamburg.
Holliman's lawyer, David Herzog of Omaha, recently renewed his request to stipulate the facts as to the manner of death and demise of the dogs, which would withhold how the dogs were killed from the jury.
The request was overruled once, however the court noted it again on Monday, and ruled it would leave the final determination to the trial judge.
Herzog said he would argue in the upcoming trial on July 10 that the Fremont County Sheriff's Office gave Millsap reason to believe that a sheriff's deputy had authorized the disposure of the dogs.
The Fremont County dispatcher who relayed the information from the veterinarian's office to Millsap was reprimanded by Sheriff Steven MacDonald in March 2006 for telling Millsap one of the deputies said the dogs "need a big bang."
According to court records, Millsap did not check with any other veterinarians or the Humane Society in Council Bluffs prior to shooting the dogs. Millsap pleaded guilty to one count of animal abuse, an aggravated misdemeanor, on June 13. His sentencing has been set for July 30.
|Source: The Daily Nonpareil - June 19, 2007|
Update posted on Jun 19, 2007 - 5:07PM
|The prosecution in Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman's upcoming animal abuse trial has requested the trial be moved from Fremont County. Holliman is resisting the move, according to court documents.|
Holliman is charged with seven counts of animal abuse after allegedly telling his police chief to shoot seven dogs after they were removed from a Hamburg home in 2005. He has denied doing so.
A Fremont County jury acquitted Holliman of theft charges in April. The prosecution claims publicity generated from that case would make it difficult to conduct a fair trial, court documents indicated.
Former Hamburg Police Chief Nick Millsap allegedly removed the dogs from a rental home after the landlord complained they were damaging the property. He is also facing charges in connection with the incident.
The dogs' owner, Elizabeth Brock was in jail when the animals were killed and later claimed her daughter had been taking care of the dogs, but they hadn't been let out of the house enough.
Brock was awarded $3,500 in damages in a small claims lawsuit against Millsap and the city of Hamburg.
A hearing on the change of venue motion is scheduled for June 18.
|Source: Nonpareil - June 11, 2007|
Update posted on Jun 11, 2007 - 5:10PM
|It took a jury of three men and nine women roughly an hour and a half to find Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman not guilty of two counts of second-degree theft on Friday.|
The theft charges were filed after an audit of the City of Hamburg's finances found nearly $50,000 worth of disbursements to be improper or unsupported. Holliman was accused of misappropriating $3,500 of that amount, $2,000 of city money and $1,500 worth of city property.
Holliman testified on his own behalf Friday morning regarding the $2,000 check that was issued to him by Georgeanne Stephens on June 28, 2005, and culverts he installed on the Bartlett Grain property in April 2005.
Holliman told the jurors he had a conversation with a man whose name he can't remember on June 27 about an ongoing costly sinkhole problem on one of Hamburg's main streets. He said the man told him he would fix the problem, but only for $2,000 cash on a weekend. Holliman then contacted Georgeanne Stephens, the City Clerk in Hamburg, and had her issue him a $2,000 check to Holliman Auto and Supply, which he immediately cashed.
"We wanted to create a paper trail so if someone ever said, 'Where did the $2,000 go?' They could follow it," Holliman said.
Holliman went on to say that he proceeded to keep the cash at his house for "several reasons."
"We needed access to the money on a weekend, and I don't have a key to city hall," he said.
He also noted that city hall had experienced three recent burglaries, in which money was stolen and he believed someone with a key was responsible.
Asked why he didn't return the money when the contractor did not come back after three months during cross-examination, Holliman said he was still waiting.
"We were still in the construction season," he said. "I was waiting until it froze or got too cold to where he couldn't do it."
Questioned on why he didn't inform the council or the street foreman about the bargain on the project, Holliman didn't hesitate to respond.
"I've learned never to count your chickens before they're hatched," he said. "The job hadn't been done yet," he said.
Assistant Attorney General, Scott Brown, who prosecuted the case, said he believed Holliman had other motives for not telling the council.
"You would think, this man has been mayor for years, he's got this great deal. Did he tell the city council? Did he tell the street foreman? Nope, he didn't tell anybody. He never told a soul. If this was legit, he would have been trumpeting what a great deal he got for the city of Hamburg," Brown stressed during his closing argument. "Actions speak louder than words."
"It all fits together: the dates, the debt, Howard Bebout (a witness for the state), the visit and Terry Holliman's request to Georgeanne Stephens," Brown continued, adding that Holliman's negative bank balances reflected a motive. "(Holliman) stole $2,000 of taxpayer property and a little more than $1,500 of taxpayer property. He's a thief."
In his rebuttal, Herzog said calling Holliman a thief was a "slap in the face" to Hamburg and said the prosecution was "inappropriately crucifying" the mayor.
"What this boils down to in a nutshell is that $2,000 was procured to the City Mayor of the City of Hamburg for work done on a city street," he said. "It started off as city money, was city money and was returned as city money."
As for the culverts, Holliman explained it simply in his testimony.
"The city council bought 190 feet of tubing. Bartlett paid me for 190 feet of tubing," he explained of the coincidence. "I didn't bill the city for the additional 20 feet I added to their project."
Holliman testified none of the culverts purchased by the city were used on Bartlett Grain property. He also said the city was obligated to install the culverts near the property in order to prevent future flooding claims against the city.
Herzog proclaimed Holliman's innocence in his closing argument saying it was the defense who had provided the jury with the diagrams and pictures of the culverts.
"Where's their expert, where's their measuring rod? We've showed you where the tubes are. We've presented the photographs."
The state had the burden of proving Holliman mishandled the funds with the intent to deprive the city beyond a reasonable doubt, and in the end failed to do so, at least according to the jury.
"Apparently we didn't prove our case," Brown said in a phone interview Friday afternoon. "I don't know what specifically was lacking, because obviously we felt we had enough evidence to convict. That's why we brought charges in first place."
Herzog believes it was Holliman's testimony that convinced the jury of his innocence.
I think Terry Holliman was frank, honest and forthwright with his testimony and in Oct of 05 when police task force descended on Hamburg and collected the $2,000. People who are innocent don't hide the truth."
Herzog described the envelope containing the $2,000 Holliman led investigators to on Oct. 6 as a "paper wall" in the prosecution's case.
Asked during his testimony if he regrets the decision he made on June 28, 2005, Holliman said he would do things differently
"If I had it to do over again, after what it's put me and my family through, I wouldn't touch (the money) with a 10-foot pole," he said.
During his closing statement, Herzog called the evidence unreliable and insufficient. In the end, the jury agreed.
But things aren't over for Holliman just yet.
"We have other battles to fight for the mayor," Herzog said of Holliman, whose removal from office is currently being pursued by the Attorney General's office. A hearing has been scheduled for June 28.
In an unrelated case, Holliman has also been charged with seven counts of misdemeanor animal abuse for the death of seven dogs in September 2005. That trial has been scheduled for July 10, 2007.
|Source: The Daily Nonpareil - April 24, 2007|
Update posted on May 3, 2007 - 6:10AM
|Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman pleaded not guilty to felony charges of theft by misappropriation and second-degree theft in Fremont County District Court Monday.|
The theft charges was filed after a special audit of the city's finances found nearly $50,000 worth of disbursements to be improper, unsupported or with no public purpose documented.
Citing those findings, the Iowa Attorney General's Office filed a petition earlier this month to remove Holliman from office. The Attorney General's Office is accusing Holliman of willful misconduct or maladministration and corruption while in office.
Holliman has said he is innocent of the charges and plans to fight to remain in office.
A Jan. 30, 2007, trial date has been set for the theft charges, with a two-day bench trial regarding Holliman's removal from office scheduled for March 1, 2007, at 9:30 a.m.
Holliman's jury trial concerning the seven counts of animal abuse he faces for an incident that occurred in September 2005 was set to begin today.
According to Pottawattamie County Matt Wilber, that trial has been continued to a date yet to be determined.
The animal abuse charges resulted when the former Hamburg Police Chief, Nick Millsap, shot and killed seven dogs and puppies. Millsap reportedly removed the dogs from Elizabeth Brock's rental home in Hamburg after the landlord complained they were damaging the property.
Millsap reportedly consulted with Holliman before disposing of the dogs.
Under Iowa law, "A person is guilty of a public offense if ... an employer is also criminally responsible for directing or permitting an employee to commit a public offense."
Holliman has said he never directed or permitted Millsap to shoot the dogs.
The Pottawattamie County Attorney's Office and Millsap's lawyers are currently in the process of negotiating a plea agreement.
|Source: Daily Nonpareil - Dec 12, 2006|
Update posted on Dec 12, 2006 - 5:22PM
|The Iowa attorney general's office is trying to oust a mayor in southwestern Iowa who is accused of stealing and misappropriating city funds. |
A petition was filed to remove Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman after he was arrested Nov. 1. Holliman faces two felony theft charges after a special audit indicated almost $50,000 in city payments were improper or undocumented.
Among other things, Holliman is accused of pocketing a $2,000 city check this summer that was written to Holliman Auto And Truck Supply for services that were not provided.
The attorney general's office alleged willful misconduct and corruption by Holliman.
Holliman's attorney calls the attorney general's petition "outrageous."
In a separate case, Holliman is also charged with seven counts of animal abuse for his role in the deaths of a Hamburg resident's dogs that were shot by police. That case is pending in district court.
|Source: KCCI - Nov 12, 2006|
Update posted on Nov 12, 2006 - 9:20PM
|Already facing charges of seven counts of animal abuse for an incident that happened in September 2005, the mayor of Hamburg was arrested again Wednesday, this time for allegedly misappropriating funds from the city's finances.|
The Fremont County Sheriff's Office arrested Terry Holliman at NAPA Auto Parts Wednesday afternoon on two Class D felony criminal charges: Theft in the second degree and theft by misappropriation. The charges were made after a special audit into the city of Hamburg's finances found $49,901.83 worth of disbursements to be improper, unsupported or their public purpose was not documented.
The special investigation into Hamburg's financial records was requested by Fremont County Attorney Vicki Danley after former Hamburg city water clerk, Valerie Lang, voiced her concerns in October 2005 of claims, checks for cash and other transactions she believed Holliman used for his own personal financial gain.
"I'm surprised they've taken it this far," he said. "I think basically from the start of the investigation, it was a planned outcome."
The theft by misappropriation charge stems from an incident in July 2005 in which Holliman billed the city $1,525.88 for metal culverts that were installed by a business Holliman owns on private property. According to a press release from the Fremont County Sheriff's Office, Holliman also subsequently billed Bartlett Grain for the metal culverts, but denied doing so.
Holliman said a portion of the tubing for the culverts was on city property, which is why the city was billed for the service.
The second-degree theft charge stems from another incident in July 2005 when Holliman reportedly requested that City Clerk Georganne Stephens write him a check for $2,000 without a supporting bill or claim. Stephens wrote Holliman the check after he said he would provide a claim at a later date.
"Despite several requests by Stephens, Holliman never produced the claim," the press release from the Fremont County Sheriff's Office stated.
According to Holliman, the money was to be paid in cash for a street repair by Illinois contractor. Though the mayor eventually returned the money to City Hall after it was requested he do so, he was unable to provide the names or specifics of the contractor and never consulted the council about such an expenditure, according to the press release sent by the Iowa Attorney General's office.
"We're not worried about (the charges)," Holliman said, referring to he and his lawyer, David Herzog of Omaha.
Holliman is serving his second consecutive, four-year term as mayor. His term is up in December 2008.
While Holliman plans to continue his duties as mayor, the Attorney General's Office is seeking to remove him from office.
"We expect to initiate a removal action in the near future," said Iowa Attorney General's Office spokesman Bob Brammer.
An arraignment date regarding the recent charges has not been set. A Class D felony is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $750 to $7,500.
Holliman's trial in regards to the animal abuse charges against him is set for Dec. 12.
The charges stem from an incident in September 2005 in which former Hamburg Police Chief, Nick Milsap, shot and killed seven dogs and puppies. Millsap reportedly consulted with Holliman before disposing of the dogs.
Holliman has said he never directed or permitted Millsap to shoot the animals.
|Source: The Daily Nonpareil - Nov 2, 2006|
Update posted on Nov 2, 2006 - 12:37PM
|The animal abuse trial of the town's former police chief has been delayed until this fall.|
Nick Millsap is charged with seven counts of animal abuse. His trial, which had been scheduled to start Tuesday in Fremont County District Court, was rescheduled for Oct. 10. That's the same court date for Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman, who faces the same charges.
Millsap is accused of killing seven dogs and puppies last summer. He allegedly took the dogs from a rental house after the landlord complained.
In charging Holliman, officials say he either ordered Millsap to kill the dogs or agreed on a course of action.
Under Iowa law, an employer is responsible for directing or permitting an employee to commit an offense.
A judge ordered the city and Millsap to pay the dogs' owner, Elizabeth Brock, more than $3,500. Brock said she was in jail when the dogs were killed and had left the animals in her daughter's care.
|Source: WCF Courier - Aug 29, 2006|
Update posted on Aug 29, 2006 - 9:37AM
|The mayor and the police chief of Hamburg, Iowa, have pleaded not guilty to charges of animal cruelty in connection with the deaths of seven dogs.|
The trial date for both officials is May 23, 2006. The trial will take place in Fremont County.
|Source: Omaha World Herald - March 29, 2006|
Update posted on Apr 2, 2006 - 1:11PM
|A Fremont County dispatcher will be reprimanded for telling the Hamburg police chief that dogs the chief later shot needed "a big bang" - a comment heard on tapes obtained Friday by The Des Moines Register. Sheriff Steven MacDonald said he would place a letter of reprimand in the file of dispatcher Deborah Weiss of rural Shenandoah. "There is no doubt my employee clouded the issue by making that statement, but the bottom line is what he (Millsap) did was wrong," MacDonald said. "He's a loose cannon. Taking the dogs out and shooting them, and then stomping the one dog's head goes way beyond shooting."|
Tapes of Weiss talking with Millsap and a veterinarian indicate that the chief had incomplete information when he decided to shoot seven dogs late the night of Sept. 15, 2005. Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman, who said he helped Millsap make the decision to shoot the dogs, said the Fremont County Sheriff's Department played a major role in the decision to shoot the dogs. According to the tapes, Weiss, the dispatcher, failed to tell Millsap that veterinarian Richard Jamison of the Fremont County Veterinary Clinic urged the police chief to call back if necessary. She also suggested the dogs needed "a big bang." "We've been told to rely on the sheriff's department, to take their lead," Holliman said. "I feel let down by that." Millsap, who is on paid leave, could not be reached for comment. The events unfolded after Millsap removed seven dogs from the Hamburg home Elizabeth Brock was renting, after her landlord complained they were damaging her house. Brock was in jail and had left the dogs in the care of her 14-year-old daughter, who was giving them food and water, but apparently was not letting them out enough.
Here is a portion of the last communication between the dispatcher and Millsap:
Dispatcher to veterinarian: "He (Millsap) said if you don't want them, that's OK, he'll figure out something else."
Jamison, the veterinarian, tells the dispatcher he doesn't have an isolation unit large enough to keep all the animals apart. However, at the end of that conversation, he leaves the idea open that Millsap can call him back.
Veterinarian to dispatcher: "If he gets into a heck of a pickle, let me know."
Dispatcher to Millsap: "He (Jamison) really doesn't have that much room. . . . If you can figure something else out. . . . Sounds like they need a big bang to me."
Millsap: "Is that what was suggested?"
Dispatcher: "No, he did not say that to me, but that's what the deputy said, you know, bang."
Millsap: "That clinic ain't going to take them. . . . "
Dispatcher: "He'd rather not."
Millsap: "I'm going to call Holliman . . . get his OK. . . . Probably going to go dispatch them."
MacDonald, the sheriff, said the two deputies who were on duty that night said they did not say anything to Weiss about dogs needing "a big bang." "It does not even sound like the way my deputies talk. I don't know where she got that," MacDonald said.
Weiss said she had no comment. Jamison said he took the calls at home from the dispatcher that night. "I said Nick should give me a call back if he couldn't get something else figured out," Jamison said. "I didn't know that something else would be the dogs getting shot. Shooting the dogs was never discussed with the dispatcher." Jamison said he was sick when he read later about the dogs being shot. He also said he has no idea whether the dogs had mange, skin diseases that cause itching, because he never saw them.
Millsap is due for a preliminary hearing in Fremont County on March 8, 2006. The charges against Millsap came on the heels of a magistrate awarding $3,500 to Brock, the dogs' owner, in a small-claims case. Holliman, the mayor, said the City Council has voted to build a dog pound so similar problems do not happen again.
|Source: Des Moines Register - February 18, 2006|
Update posted on Mar 30, 2006 - 6:41PM
|Iowa Trials are set for this spring for the mayor and police chief of the southwest Iowa town of Hamburg over the killing of seven dogs. Police Chief Nick Millsap is accused of killing the dogs without the owner's consent last September. Mayor Terry Holliman is accused of influencing the police chief.|
Both men are charged with seven counts of an animal abuse.
Formal charges were filed against Millsap and Holliman on Wednesday. Their arraignment is set for March 27th. Their trials are scheduled for May 23rd in Fremont County court in Sidney.
|Source: WQAD - March 10, 2006|
Update posted on Mar 12, 2006 - 5:49PM
|The Hamburg mayor was arrested February 28, 2006 in connection with several counts of animal abuse. Terry Holliman was arrested on a warrant in connection with seven counts of animal abuse, according to a news release. Each count is an aggravated misdemeanor, and each charge carries a two-year prison sentence. |
Holliman appeared before the Fremont County Magistrate and was released on his own recognizance. A preliminary hearing has yet to be set for both Holliman and the police chief.
|Source: KETV News - February 28, 2006|
Update posted on Feb 28, 2006 - 5:50PM
|The owner of the seven dogs that were shot by Hamburg's Police Chief was awarded $3,500 in damages in Fremont County District Court on February 14, 2006. Elizabeth Brock received $1,500 in property damage and $2,000 in damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress by Police Chief Nick Millsap. The maximum amount Brock could have received from her small claims lawsuit is $5,000. It has been five months since Millsap and police officer Jarid Means removed the dogs from Brock's rental home after the landlord complained they were damaging the property. When Millsap and Means arrived on the premises, the dogs appeared to be malnourished and the house smelled of feces and urine. |
Millsap has said he consulted with Hamburg Mayor Terry Holliman and the Fremont County Veterinary Clinic through the Fremont County Sheriff's Office before the dogs, two as young as 5 weeks old, were taken into the country, shot one by one and then dumped into a ditch. According to court documents, Millsap crushed the head of one puppy that was alive after being shot, and one of the dogs ran 100 yards before dying. The document also states that somewhere along the line, communication between the Fremont County Sheriff's Office and Millsap broke down, leaving the chief misinformed and believing the Fremont County Veterinary Clinic would not take the dogs. After consulting with Holliman, it was decided that they would dispose of the dogs by taking them out and shooting them. On their return to Hamburg, Millsap had a panic attack and pulled over. Officer Means drove the remainder of the way back to town. According to the court record, Millsap did not check with any other veterinarians or the Humane Society in Council Bluffs prior to shooting the dogs.
Veterinarian Richard Jamison is adamant he told the dispatcher the dogs were welcome at his clinic. Chief Deputy Kevin Aistrope has said the dispatcher relayed that message to Millsap although Millsap has alleged otherwise. Aistrope said all of the dispatchers' conversations are taped and could become public record if formal charges are filed. Millsap has also alleged the dogs suffered from mange, something Brock vehemently denies. Brock, who was in jail at the time and had been for about a week for failure to appear in court on charges involving bad checks, claimed her 14-year-old daughter had been giving food and water to the dogs, but they hadn't been let out of the house enough. However, even if the dogs had suffered from mange, according to Hamburg code, Millsap and Means still would have been in violation of the law. According to the Hamburg City Code, Section 55.15: "When an animal has been apprehended and impounded, written notice shall be given in not less than two days to the owner, if known. If the owner does not redeem the animal(s) within seven days of the date of notice, or if the owner cannot be located within seven days, the animal may be humanely destroyed or otherwise disposed of in accordance with law." Millsap has argued that the dogs did not display rabies tags; therefore, he had the authority to kill them. Testimony in Brock's small claims suit revealed all the dogs required to have rabies vaccinations had previously received them.
Brock estimated the dogs were valued at $1,500 and was awarded the full amount. Under Iowa law, "an individual is entitled to damages for the wrongful killing of dogs, and the measure of such damages is the value of the dogs at the time they were killed."Brock received the additional $2,000 in damages only after satisfying the burden of proving Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Brock showed Millsap used outrageous conduct in the manner in which he killed the dogs; recklessness disregard of the probability of causing emotional distress by showing he had to be aware that his conduct would probably cause severe emotional stress to the dogs' owner yet he acted anyway; and that she suffered severe or extreme emotional distress as a result of the incident as she went to the hospital upon learning of the manner in which her dogs were killed and was given medication to cope with the stress of her loss - all elements of proving emotional distress, according to court records.According to the court order, Millsap and the city of Hamburg will be jointly liable for the judgment.
The court did not award punitive damages, noting that Millsap had made attempts to find a solution based on his call to the mayor and the Fremont County Sheriff's Office. Since Fremont County Attorney Vicki Danley has declined to file formal charges in the case due to a conflict of interest, the Pottawattamie County Attorney's Office was appointed as a special prosecutor to determine if charges should be filed, what charges to file and whom to file them against. Pottawattamie County Attorney Matt Wilber said the Pottawattamie County attorney's office would release that information by the end of the week.
|Source: The Daily Nonpareil - February 15, 2006|
Update posted on Feb 25, 2006 - 11:32AM
|A police chief in southwestern Iowa was charged Thursday with animal cruelty for killing seven dogs without their owner's consent.|
Hamburg Police Chief Nick Millsap is on paid leave after being arrested and released on his promise to appear in court next month.
According to court records, Millsap removed the dogs on Sept. 15 from a rental home after the landlord complained that the dogs were damaging the property. Millsap maintains that the dogs were malnourished, sick and hot.
Seven counts of animal cruelty were filed in Fremont County by Shelly Sedlak, an assistant Pottawattamie County attorney appointed as a special prosecutor. Sedlak said Millsap shot the dogs and crushed the head of one puppy when it didn't die of the gunshot.
He faces up to two years in prison on each count.
|Source: wcfcourier.com - Feb 17, 2006|
Update posted on Feb 17, 2006 - 1:39PM
|The Pottawattamie County Attorney's office has been appointed to review animal cruelty allegations against the Hamburg police chief in western Iowa.|
Nick Millsap was investigated by the Fremont County Sheriff's Department for shooting seven dogs last fall after their owner's landlord allegedly said the dogs were damaging the property.
The investigation was completed late last week, and the Fremont County attorney's office has received a judge's approval to pass its findings to Pottawattamie for review. Fremont County Attorney Vicki Danley cited a conflict of interest in declining the case because she works with Millsap on occasion.
The shootings were reported to sheriff's officials by the Humane Society of the United States, which urged authorities to investigate. The group alleges that Millsap took the dogs from their owner's home and killed them after he could not find them a place to stay.
Millsap claims he found the dogs malnourished and sick and that he consulted a veterinarian before the dogs were shot and dumped in a ditch.
|Source: KCCI - Feb 9, 2006|
Update posted on Feb 10, 2006 - 7:53PM
|The details surrounding the destruction of nine dogs by Hamburg police officers were revealed during a lengthy hearing in Fremont County Small Claims Court Thursday.|
Magistrate Dennis James heard testimony from Hamburg Police Chief Nick Millsap, officer Jarid Means, dog-owner Elizabeth Brock and the property owner renting to Brock, Wille Thorpe.
Brock stated she found out seven dogs - including five puppies - were destroyed by the Hamburg Police Department while she was incarcerated.
Millsap testified he, along with Means, collected nine dogs from Brock's residence on the night of Sept. 14. He said they drove them 3 miles west of Hamburg and shot them, using a shotgun and a sidearm.
Millsap stated not all the dogs died immediately. One ran a distance after being shot and he stomped on the head of another when it didn't die.
The two officers then left the dogs in a ditch along the road and took the police vehicle to the car wash to clean off the blood from the carcasses.
Millsap said during his testimony all of the dogs were found to be in poor health and exhibited signs of mange. "They looked sick and malnourished," he said.
However, officer Jarid Means testified only one of the smaller dogs looked sick.
Thorpe, landlord to the plaintiff also testified that the dogs were not that bad.
"I think all of them (would have got better) if they had food, medicine and water," she said.
Brock, the plaintiff, testified that she had been incarcerated for seven days prior to the removal of the dogs and that, prior to the incarceration, none of the dogs exhibited symptoms of mange. She said one of the puppies did have ringworm.
Millsap said he didn't want to shoot the dogs, however, there weren't any other options. He said he had spoken with the Fremont County Sheriff's dispatch personnel three times trying to secure placement for the dogs at the Fremont County Veterinary Clinic.
"The vet clinic wouldn't take our dogs, or that was our understanding," he said.
He testified he then called Hamburg mayor Terry Holliman and discussed what to do with the dogs.
"He agreed we should dispatch them ourselves," Millsap said. The defense stated Millsap was acting within the Iowa Code 717B.2(10) and 717B.3A(2)j. pertaining to the disposition of injured/diseased animals and not Chapter 55 of the Hamburg Code of Ordinances.
Robert Livingston represented the defense. Jon Johnson represented the plaintiff.
The magistrate has not yet issued his ruling in the case. The plaintiffs are seeking $5,000. The city of Hamburg and Millsap are named as defendants.
|Source: News Press - Jan 20, 2006|
Update posted on Jan 25, 2006 - 11:13PM
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