Greyhound Trainer Makes First Court Appearance for Animal Cruelty

By: Vanessa Nguyen
By: Vanessa Nguyen

The man accused of killing 32 greyhound racing dogs has been appointed a public defender. Ronald Williams pleaded 'not guilty' to 42 counts of felony animal cruelty stemming from the discovery of dead dogs at an Ebro kennel.

36-year-old Ronald Williams walked into the Washington County courtroom Monday without any legal representation, and he didn't seem too concerned about the 42 counts of animal cruelty he is currently facing.

"32 counts of felony cruelty to animals and in case number 414, 10 counts of felony cruelty to animals," said Assistant State Attorney Erin Oliver.

Authorities arrested Williams on October 29th after they found 32 dead greyhounds in the Ebro greyhound park kennel that was assigned to him. Necropsies found the animals died from starvation and dehydration.

The case has sparked outrage from animal rights groups who are demanding Williams receive the maximum punishment. Monday morning Williams told Circuit Judge Allen Register he could not afford an attorney.

"Do you have a bank account?" asked Judge Register.

"No sir."

"Do you own any stocks, bonds or any type of investment?” asked Judge Register.

"No sir."

But before he was arrested, William was making a decent paycheck.

"Prior to being arrested, what was your weekly or bi-weekly income?" asked Judge Register.

" depends...somewhere around a thousand, fifteen hundred a week," said Williams.

Judge Register appointed a public defender and accepted his 'not guilty' plea. His next court date will be a pre-trial hearing on February 11th.

Williams is also being investigated in connection with the deaths of eight greyhounds found under the Highway 20 bridge.

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