Kala Elmore of Lambert, Mississippi was at work when she received the horrific and heartbreaking news that her dearly loved companion Jolene, a sweet pot-bellied pig, had been brutally murdered with five gunshots.
Kala's neighbor and friend, Bud "Bubba" Chun II, heard gunfire in his yard and went out to find a vehicle in his driveway and Jolene laying bleeding from gunshot wounds. The man in the vehicle told him that someone in a black car shot Jolene and he would pursue the car to gain the license number. The man returned, presumably to take Jolene or to give credence to his alibi, saying that he couldn't catch up to the vehicle. By then Kala's father, who had been outside and witnessed that there was no other vehicle, had joined Bubba.
The Quitman County Sheriff's Department responded and during questioning the alleged shooter caved in, saying that he shot Jolene because he thought she was a feral hog — as if that justifies anything! The cartridges on the floor of his vehicle betrayed his initial claim that someone else shot Jolene.
Illiah Kurraukin Webb of Marks, Mississippi was arrested on March 22 on only an animal cruelty charge and bonded out. His arraignment is set for April 12, 2018.
Though there is some slight satisfaction that Illiah K. Webb will face the charge of animal cruelty, the path to charging him was frustrating. Kala was initially advised that Illiah could only be charged with "malicious mischief" for his vicious crime. Our Justice for Animals Campaign Director armed Kala with the information she needed to persist for the appropriate charges to be applied in this case.
Kala contacted the game warden who is expected to file a charge for shooting from a motorized vehicle, while Bubba is filing an affidavit for trespass. The rub is that Jolene's slaying could have been charged under MS § 97-41-15: Maliciously injuring livestock, a felony. Kala was advised that because Jolene was a "pet" that Illiah could not be charged under this law. This statute does not distinguish between pets and "livestock" of the same species. The assumption by law enforcement and the courts is that the life of an animal companion doesn't garner the equal protection under the law as an animal who means nothing but profit to his or her "owner" and is applied only when a person other than the "owner" causes harm or death to animals classified as "livestock."
Jolene's slayer was charged under § 97-41-1: Cruelty to living creatures, a misdemeanor with a paltry maximum sentence. The most common animal companions were recently elevated in status by a new Mississippi law, in a move toward giving the most common animal companions a greater justice, yet still falling short of the penalties for harming "livestock" who are treated as nothing more than "cash cows" of the economy.
In Defense of Animals intends to take every measure to expose the incongruencies in Mississippi statutes that mock justice while giving the illusion that Mississippi's animals are protected under law. We will update you as this case unfolds and ask for your help in ensuring as much justice as possible for Jolene and Kala.
Please join us in politely requesting that the Quitman County Prosecuting Attorney take an active role in aiding law enforcement in determining the state statutes that future animal cruelty cases will be charged under.
Please take an active role in aiding law enforcement in animal cruelty cases
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