Thursday, March 16, 2017

Arkansas: Judge says starvation is not torture and reduces felony charges against Jimmy Massey, 36, down to misdemeanors

ARKANSAS -- A man accused of housing 12 malnourished pit bulls had his felony charges reduced to misdemeanor charges at his first court appearance on Wednesday. After he pled not guilty, the judge released him on his own recognizance without bond.

“We plead not guilty your honor,” Attorney Gary McDonald said in representation of his client, Jimmy D. Massey. “I’ve known him all his life.”

Put Jimmy in a cell and don't feed him lunch
and I guarantee he'd file a lawsuit saying
he was being subjected to torture by guards

District Court Judge Jack Barker complied with the prosecuting attorney’s recommendation.

“He can be released,” State Attorney Greg Thomas said.

Massey, 36, of El Dorado, was arrested Tuesday and initially charged with eight felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals, but upon further review the charges were reduced to eight misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. His next court date is scheduled for May.

The main determinate between the aggravated felony charges and the misdemeanor charges is whether or not the owner “tortured” his animals, said Charles Hartsell, Union County Animal Control Officer.

“Seeing a dog without food or water isn’t enough to claim it was being tortured,” he said.

Clearly, most rational people would disagree. If a parent purposely starved their child, would that be torture? The people held in concentration camps and starved until they looked like skeletons... would anyone disagree with the statement that they were TORTURED? People who are starving to death will eat anything -- rocks, dirt -- in an attempt to stop their hunger pangs. The Donner Party, they boiled their leather shoes and tried to eat them, they ate tree bark, they boiled their animal hides to a paste and ate them. Finally, several members were so hungry they began eating each other. Someone who is starving thinks about food 24/7 - it is physical pain as well as mental anguish. 

Knowingly starving someone or something is torture.

According to state law, a person commits the misdemeanor offense of cruelty to animals if he or she knowingly does one of the following: subjects any animal to cruel mistreatment; kills or injures any animal owned by another person without legal privilege or consent of the owner; abandons an animal at a location without providing for the animal’s continued care; fails to supply an animal in his or her custody with a sufficient quantity of wholesome food and water; fails to provide an animal in his or her custody with adequate shelter that is consistent with the breed, species, and type of animal; or carries on any motorized vehicle or boat in a cruel or inhumane manner.

On Tuesday authorities seized 12 dogs from a house on the 300 block of Christian Drive. Most of the dogs were chained to stakes, which is illegal within city limits. However Frank Massey, owner of the property, said their location is outside of the city’s limits and that his family has been raising healthy animals for decades.

“I’ve raised animals for 60 years, earned trophies for raising hogs, dogs, cows, you name it. And it’s part of my legacy to be the best at what I do,” he said. “You’ve gotta take good care of them.”

Jimmy Massey began breeding and selling pit bulls 14-15 years ago, mostly for hog hunting.

“The reason for the hog hide was to train them to sniff and smell out hogs, not for dog fighting,” Frank Massey said.

While animal control officers said the dogs were being hidden, the Massey’s questioned their reasoning.

“They weren’t being hid. They were in a shady spot to keep them out of the sun,” Frank Massey said.

Also, the Massey family said the dogs were being fed once a day by Jimmy and if he couldn’t do it after work, then a relative or friend would come by to feed the dogs.

“All these years, we’ve done this and I’ve never been in no trouble,” Frank Massey said.

The pit bulls are being held at the local animal pound while Massey’s case continues through court. The family plans to get the dogs back soon.

His next court appearance is scheduled for May regarding Jimmy Massey’s plea against the eight misdemeanor charges.

Full Name: Jimmy Delano Massey
Gender: Male
Arrest Age: 36
Arrest Date: 03/14/2017
STATUTE: 5-62-101A


This couple starved their son. It doesn't say they beat him, broke his bones, burned him, scalded him,  or any other things that prosecutors define as "torture" in regards to animals. These parents STARVED their son. Alabama's statute says that starvation is torturous. So, why, when animals are held captive and willfully starved by their owners, prosecutors refuse to charge accordingly?

An Alabama couple remains behind bars Tuesday after being accused of starving their 14-year-old adopted son, who weighed less than 60 pounds at the time of his parents’ arrest, PEOPLE confirms.

Richard Kelly, 56, and his 47-year-old wife, Cynthia Kelly, were charged with aggravated child abuse and are being held on $1 million bond in the Shelby County Jail in Alabama.

Alabama Code Title 26. Infants and Incompetents § 26-15-3
A responsible person, as defined in Section 26-15-2, who shall torture, willfully abuse, cruelly beat, or otherwise willfully maltreat any child under the age of 18 years shall, on conviction, be guilty of a Class C felony.

(El Dorado News-Times - March 16, 2017)