UPDATE: Case Thrown Out Against Cop In Cat-Beating Incident
Special Prosecutor Dismisses Charge
UPDATE, 10:46 a.m. (original story appears below.)
HARRISONBURG — A special prosecutor dismissed the case today against a city police officer accused of beating an injured cat to death during a public service call in November.
Officer Jonathan Snoddy, 25, was charged with one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.
Page County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ken Alger said that it was more of a “case of misinformation and sensationalism” rather than a crime.
The Daily News-Record will have a complete report in Tuesday's print and online editions.
HARRISONBURG — A city police officer accused of beating an injured cat to death during a public service call in November is scheduled to appear in court today for his retrial.
Officer Jonathan Snoddy, 25, is charged with one misdemeanor count of animal cruelty.
On March 8, retired Judge Steven Helvin of Charlottesville found Snoddy guilty during a bench trial in Rockingham County General District Court. Helvin fined Snoddy $50, but the officer avoided a jail sentence.
His attorneys appealed the verdict.
The officer, who was charged by the Virginia State Police on Jan. 12, was placed on administrative leave, but was reinstated to full duty in late May.
The charge stems from an incident that occurred in Harrisonburg on Nov. 11. Wayne Meadows, a Harrisonburg resident who lives on Settlers Lane, called police for help dealing with a cat that he said had been hit by a car and severely injured.
The officer decided to put the cat down because of its injuries. Department policy called for the cat to be shot, but Meadows claims that Snoddy beat the cat with his nightstick “15 to 20 times” before the animal eventually died.
Snoddy disputed Meadows’ claim during the initial trial, testifying that he hit the cat three or four times. He then said he pounded the collapsible baton on the ground to close it.
Page County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ken Alger was recently appointed as a special prosecutor in the case.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or firstname.lastname@example.org