Two people who made the news in October and November after posting gruesome photos of a West Asheville family’s cat were found not guilty Friday in Buncombe County, North Carolina court.
Jace Greene, 29, and Shariah Metzger, 26 were accused of improper burial of an animal and instigating cruelty to animals.
Veronica Coit is the leader of a Facebook group called Asheville Cat Weirdos. She contacted police after the photos of a 2-year-old cat named Kitty were posted online.
The judge did admit the photos were disturbing but not enough evidence was presented to convict Greene and Metzger of any crime. One photo showed needles stuck into Kitty’s body.
Colt attended the trial and is disappointed in the verdict because she believes the photos were meant to incite others to harm animals.
In an interview with WLOS13 News Colt stated
“I’m glad it’s over and we can put it behind us, and we can start focusing on the real work, which is changing these statutes, making it easier to prosecute, and making harsher punishment for these types of cases.”
One issue the judge had to take into consideration is the cat was already dead when Greene and Metzger posed the body before posting to Instagram. An animal services officer confirmed the two said Kitty was already dead when they posed with it. A necropsy confirmed their statement.
The defense attorney compared the Instagram photos to old “Tom & Jerry” cartoons and the Chick-fil-A’s “Eat Mor Chikn” campaign stating those don’t promote or instigate cruelty. The attorney is ‘happy the legal system worked in this case’ and that he’d been concerned such unfair treatment after animal advocates expressed outrage.
Naster’s owner, told News13
“I just want to thank the Asheville police department for their diligent work. Asheville is a community of love and support. So thank you, and rest in peace Kitty.”
Zackery Greene,31, is the third suspect. He was arrested in Florida earlier this year. I haven’t been able to find the online record so if anyone knows the charges, please add the information to the comment section below.
This case is yet another tragedy when a cat was made a mockery of. I wonder if it had been a dog posted to social media the outcome would have been different. Those who follow the cat abuse cases can tell you there is very little punishment handed out.
Previous articles posted on PoC can be found below.