Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Indiana: Marion Hayes, 39, and his fiance, Ashly Phillips, 33, arrested after Scottsburg Police say teens and more than a dozen animals removed from filthy trailer

INDIANA -- Neglect charges, pertaining to a teenager and 14 dogs and two cats, were filed against a Scottsburg couple whose mobile home was filled with what investigators said were rotting food, bugs and animal feces on July 27.

Charges filed in Scott Superior Court against Marion Anthony Hayes, 39, and Ashly N. Phillips, 33, include one count of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony, and four counts of cruelty to an animal, all Class A misdemeanors. The neglect of a dependent charge was based on the fact that Hayes' 17-year-old son was living there. His 18-year-old son was also a resident.


The situation was discovered when Deputy Rodney Rudder stopped at the couple's mobile home on South Lake Road, near the interchange between I-65 and West McClain Avenue on Wednesday, July 27. He was serving notification papers for possible jury duty in the park and mistakenly went to the Hayes-Phillips residence.

As he approached the trailer and knocked on the door, Deputy Rudder said he smelled a strong odor and that several dogs began barking inside the mobile home. He also found a dog loose outside the home.

The deputy was aware that the number of dogs and cats which can be kept by Scottsburg residents is limited by city ordinance, and pets must be restrained by a leash, fencing or chained at all times when they are outside.

He reported the situation to Animal Control Officer Denny Robbins. Robbins went to the trailer soon afterward and picked up the stray dog. That animal's collar was so tight that it was embedded in the dog's neck, Officer Robbins noted. He also saw several dogs “...hanging out the windows,” the probable cause affidavit related.

The smell of feces from the animals was described as “ strong you could not get close to the house...” by the animal control officer.

Since no one was at home, Major Richey Barton of the Scottsburg department contacted Marion Hayes by phone at his workplace. Hayes made arrangements to meet the officers at the trailer that afternoon.

Later in the day, Patrolman James Vires and Robbins of Scottsburg Police met with a representative of the Department of Child Services (DCS), Animal Control and District 8 field veterinarian Dr. Jodi Lovejoy from the State Board of Animal Health to inspect the house, with Hayes' permission.

By that time, authorities had learned that Hayes' two sons -- a 17-year-old and an 18-year-old -- were also living in the trailer.

The man allegedly admitted to having seven dogs inside.

The affidavit further describes the scene:

Once the front door to the residence was open, “the strong odor of feces and urine could be smelled while standing out in the roadway approximately 30 feet away.”

From the front porch, I looked into the living room of the residence and took photos.  Due to the strong odor and myself having no protective mask, I exited the porch back out to the roadway.

"Entry to the residence could not be made without wearing, at the very minimum, a respiratory mask," the probable cause affidavit states.

Police say the Department of Child Services representative found the inside of the home to be in "complete disarray" with animal feces "covering the floor."

She observed dog feces covering many of the surfaces in the home. She noticed that the floor was covered with dog feces, rotting food and other items, making it difficult for [HER] to walk through the rooms without sliding.

The DCS staffer stated she observed that “...the floor was covered with dog feces, rotting food and other items making it difficult for (her) to walk through the rooms without sliding.” In her opinion, every room was uninhabitable, the affidavit stated.

According to the affidavit, authorities noticed a "very high concentration" of ammonia inside the trailer. A veterinarian who was with the investigators allegedly noticed, "a layer of feces covering the vast majority of the floor throughout the residence and also on one of the beds."

The temperature inside the main living area of the trailer was 90 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the affidavit. Although a back bedroom had an operational window-mounted air conditioner, the door to the bedroom was closed and access was restricted.

That's where Ashly and Marion relaxed in cool comfort while everyone else in the trailer suffered.

Insects, both live and dead, were also found in the residence, including in the refrigerator.  Police allegedly found cockroaches inside the refrigerator.

Dr. Lovejoy advised that several dogs had severe flea infestations and significant skin and hair problems, poor body condition (underweight, malnourished and/or emaciated). Ten of the dogs she saw had long nails, and two of the dogs had nails so long they appeared to be growing into their paws.

One of the larger dogs was emaciated and so weak, it had difficulty standing up, Dr. Lovejoy noted. The veterinarian said she observed the dog “...walk only a few feet before laying back down and was observed urinating in the hallway.” 

On a scale of 1 to 10, Dr. Lovejoy graded the dog's condition a 1, the worst possible.

According to investigators, 13 dogs and two cats were removed from the trailer.

The animals were taken under the wing of the Scott County Humane Society. Once the larger dog, an apparent Australian shepherd, was bathed, he was kept at the local shelter so that his condition could be monitored. Officer Robbins said the dog's condition and appetite appears to be improving. “He still has a way to go, though,” Robbins related.

Hayes and Phillips were arrested on Wednesday evening, August 3. They appeared for initial hearings in Superior Court on Thursday, August 4, during which preliminary not guilty pleas were entered for them. Each was assigned an initial trial date of November 1 and a public defender.

Bail for each of the defendants was set at $30,000 by corporate surety bond or $3,000 cash.

Name: Ashly Phillips
Sex: Female
Race: White
Arrest age: 33
Arrest Date: 08/03/2016
Agency: Scott County Sheriff's Office, Indiana
#1 Neglect of Dependent
#2 Animal Cruelty
#3 Animal Cruelty
#4 Animal Cruelty
#5 Animal Cruelty

Full Name: Ashly Phillips
Block: 500 Folly Rd
City: Charleston, South Carolina 29412
Sex: Female
Race: White
Arrest Age: 33
Arrest Date: 08/03/2016
Arrest Time: 7:48 PM
Arresting Agency: SCOTT CO SHERIFF
#1 IC 35-44.1-2-9 ~ FAILURE TO APPEAR

Full Name: Marion Hayes
Block: 500 Folly Rd
City: Charleston, South Carolina 29412
Gender: Male
Arrest Age: 39
Arrest Date: 08/03/2016
Arrest Time: 7:31 PM
Arresting Agency: SCOTT CO SHERIFF
#1 IC 35-44.1-2-9 ~ FAILURE TO APPEAR

(WDRB - Aug 30, 2016)