“I just wanted all the truth to come out,” the breeder of Persian cats said after the verdict.
McCowin, 42, of the 3300 block of Country Club Drive in Montville Township, was accused of abandoning three Persian kittens in an Applebee’s parking lot at 1421 Town Center Blvd. in Brunswick on Nov. 13, 2015.
A misdemeanor charge for criminal trespass was dropped after Chase ruled the evidence related to the charge to be insufficient to sustain a conviction.
The kittens, about 7 months old, were in a carrier found in the parking lot and were dirty and ill, according to a Brunswick police report. One kitten needed an eye removed because of an infection and another was euthanized because of its condition.
One witness had testified that between 10 and 11 p.m. he observed a “blinged out” yellow Hummer with “lots of chrome” circle the parking lot twice before a “petite” woman with “dishwater blonde” hair placed an animal kennel in the middle of the lot and drove away.
“I just think that when you put together that she’s a breeder of cats, she was in Brunswick, she drives this distinctive vehicle, her hair (and) height, there were too many coincidences,” prosecuting attorney Jeffrey Holland said Thursday. “I feel strongly that the circumstantial evidence was so strong that I was convinced and the officers were convinced that she committed the offense.”
When the witness was asked to identify the woman based on a photograph provided multiple times by police and after seeing McCowin in the courtroom, he testified, “I can’t.”
There also were contradictions from witnesses about McCowin’s hair color at the time of the incident.
McCowin testified that she had driven a Chevrolet Camaro to UXL Fitness, 1057 Pearl Road in Brunswick, that night and that her Hummer was parked in her driveway.
McCowin told The Gazette that as the case was pending, messages and comments on Facebook about the allegations have negatively affected her business, called Pure Royalty Persians.
“It completely destroyed my reputation,” McCowin said. “I spent 11 years building up an impeccable reputation. My name is ruined.”
Though she was found not guilty, McCowin said she was unsure what her future holds in breeding.
“I will begin to possibly repair what people have done,” McCowin said. “… To give other people the love, the joy (and) the happiness of a kitten and what they bring to other peoples lives …(has been) ripped from me.
“I don’t know how long I’ll still continue to do this or if I still want to do that for anybody anymore.”
(The Gazette - Dec 2, 2016)
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