Animal lawyer, animal control officer pushing for charges in Centralia cat’s death

Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 6:38 pm

Attorney Adam Karp answers news reporters’ questions following hearing on Jay the cat.

By Sharyn L. Decker
Lewis County Sirens news reporter

CHEHALIS – The untimely death of Jay the cat who suffered what prosecutors called cruel and terrible injuries at a north Centralia apartment complex this past spring drew two dozen spectators to a Chehalis courtroom today.

A Bellingham lawyer, on behalf of a Thurston County animal control officer, petitioned a judge in Lewis County District Court to allow for the issuance of a citizen criminal complaint.


Jay the cat

Lewis County prosecutors have called the death deplorable, inhumane, horrific and without justification, but contend they had insufficient evidence for criminal charges.

Attorney Adam Karp strongly disagrees.

Karp in his 19-page filing, with additional declarations from numerous witnesses, laid out a variety of potential criminal charges which could be pursued.

One of them was in connection with the man Centralia police arrested the night of April 28, but then let go.

Centralia police said Kyle B. Burke, 24, took a knife to the pet at the 100 block of Virginia Drive. The following day, Lewis County Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Brad Meagher said the cat may have suffered its injury at the hands of a child, at one point was dropped from a second-floor balcony and that possibly Burke was putting it out of its misery.

A retired Thurston County deputy and his wife went to the apartment complex and retrieved the dead pet that Centralia police had left behind, and took it to Erika Johnson, a former law enforcement officer and current senior animal control officer for Joint Animal Services in Thurston County.

Johnson had a veterinarian conduct a necropsy.

“Her opinion, of reasonable medical certainty, is Jay was alive before that penetrating injury,” Karp told the judge today. “This was not euthanasia.”

Meagher argued to Lewis County District Court Judge R.W. Buzzard the veterinarian could not pinpoint which injury caused the cat’s death.

“The state submits what’s going on here is they don’t like our charging decision,” Meagher said.

It would put the office in an ethical bind of they were made to prosecute a case they didn’t have faith in, he said.

“Who killed the cat?” Meagher asked rhetorically. “Nobody can answer that, even their expert.

“That’s why the state can’t charge the fellow, his friend, or even the little girl.”

Meagher said the strongest part of their case was to submit the 11-year-old girl to a voluntary diversion process. Witnesses said she squeezed Jay until his body made a “popping” sound and subsequently struck him in the head with a three pound rock, according to court documents.

Judge Buzzard took the final two minutes of a half hour hearing to say he took numerous pieces of information into consideration and would not allow the petition to proceed.

Karp said afterward he was underwhelmed, upset and concerned about the way animals are treated in the county, noting “lackluster treatment” by two branches of the government.

He plans to appeal Judge Buzzard’s decision, once the written findings are filed.

He immediately filed in Lewis County Superior Court a petition to impanel a grand jury to look at the case. He said it will take two of the Superior Court judges to decide if it can go forward.

For background, read “Centralia police admit errors in cat cruelty investigation, taking a second look” from Wednesday May 18, 2016, here

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17 Responses to “Animal lawyer, animal control officer pushing for charges in Centralia cat’s death”

  1. Lana Standley says:

    Any animal who dies from abuse by humans is NOT okay. Jay had 3 people at least abuse him in different manners which led to the long drawn out painful death that no human, child, pet, or animal should be subject to. We as humans should care about every life. Unfortunately that isn’t the case in this world and that is where we are failing society. If 3 people can kill a pet and no charges are made this isn’t okay, nor is it sending a positive message that we as humans care about life. This is totally insensitive in all nature and there are some very serious issues that go with all that was done in this case. If this case if left alone and nobody is brought to justice, we once again fail as humans. Animal cruelty & abuse needs to stop and people need to take animal rights serious. Killing a voiceless animal is NOT okay. It is sick and inhumane. We need much stronger laws to stop animal cruelty & abuse. And what the blank is wrong with Lewis County???

  2. Voice of Reason says:

    Stoning anything is a barbaric and cruel act of violence. This child is very troubled, experiences rage and the desire to hurt something. An act of this nature must be recorded and have consequences applied to reduce the probability of such crimes being repeated in the future. By doing nothing, you’ve ignored the emotional and counseling needs of a very troubled child and the opportunity to educate them on voilance.

  3. joefrankle says:

    I remember years ago my buddies cat got ran over and it’s pelvis was crushed. We had to go put it out of its misery. It wasn’t pretty at all. But it had to be done. I’ve also had to put one of my own cats out of their misery after they got run over buy a car. Either sit there and watch you suffer in pain or you give it a quick death. It’s your call people.

  4. KC says:

    @disgusting – I don’t buy meat in the stores just for that reason. I hunt with a bow to get meat.

  5. beth says:

    Regardless of how people think a living being should be treated…a little girl watched her best friend get brutally murdered and no justice. she will be scarred fir life…which is why sexual assualt is such a big deal. the courts need to stop discriminating against crimes done to children.

  6. Peabody Slim says:

    Rumor has it the cat was from Iraq and was in possession of weapons of mass destruction. I wish people would get this upset when the City of Centralia adds the deadly Neurotoxin Fluoride to the water supply. So many people with thyroid disorders. Hardened Arteries and cancers in our community. These diseases can all be linked to the poison called Fluoride, which was only used as rat poison in the early 1900’s. If you want to fight for something fight for the health of our community and Demand that the city of Centralia stop drugging the water supply. The Fluoride is also poisoning your cats too. Do the research go to Fluoride then public disclose the pictures of the Fluoride bags, you will see for yourself these bags have Skull and Bone symbols on the product that’s being added to our water supply. So if you really care about your pets and your children start with the water first. Crazy, what’s crazy is the people that never research the facts. No that’s crazy We only use filtered well water for our cats and dogs. Not Centralia’s Toxic Stew of death. Even the city if Centralia’s public officials drink imported wanted not the tap water.

  7. Sara Marie abbott says:

    “Cat” lady down there, just wondering where “thugs” came in to the picture, you said you needed to choose your wording, perhaps next time wait a bit longer for the right words to cross your brain and exit your mouth. These arent thugs. This from the sounds of it was inflicted mostly by a couple of kids who honestly seem more than a little deranged to be smashing the cat with rocks ect, we need to be having these people put into some sort of mental evaluation before they grow into full fledged psychos

  8. jenn jenkins says:

    first reign of terror of this gang of thugs was not feeding at the Jenkins Ranch and not reporting all the feed that was stolen

  9. jenn jenkins says:

    dont forget the woman tina the mastermind of it all with humpries

  10. jenn jenkins says:

    Attorney KArp get a hold of me if you want the inside scoop about what the investigation missed 360-978-5562

  11. still waiting for justice says:

    I have to agree with Bo, and disagree with cat, its an unfortunate incident that happens all over, not just in Lewis County, a cat might be one persons pet and another persons dinner, it is what it is, all you crying babbling idiots-if you only seen how the meat that you buy in the grocery store was treated prior to it being processed would freak out, cause it looks so innocent in that little package in the store. I am in no way saying it is ok to be cruel, but lets worry about things that impact the supreme top of the food chain animal-the human

  12. Disgusting says:

    Hey Kyle B Burke you are a disgusting piece of shit. Someone charge one of these losers. What a cool and sweet looking cat. He didn’t deserve to die like that. Justice should be served. Anyone that disagrees or thinks otherwise is a low life scum. Someone needs to be arrested. Thank you lawyer dude! What a noble thing to do.

  13. KC says:

    I sincerely hope this causes change in animal cruelty laws in Lewis County. It’s been a long time coming.

  14. Peabody Slim says:

    People of the Community this is what you can expect from a police force that has no dash or body cameras and poisions their community with Fluoride. #JusticeForJay

  15. Shannon says:

    I hope that whoever did this…the 11 year old child (hate to see what it turns in to) and/or the male adult, both have the same thing done to them!

  16. cat says:

    so…it is ok for a gang of (wishing i could see taking the time to think of proper english to describe what i think of these…thugs? ok, thugs!) thugs to torture an animal like that, but because we do not know which torture activity actually killed the cat, this gang of thugs will be let go and loose to have the opportunity to do that again…good going, judge!!!!! NOT!!!!!!

  17. Bo Rupert says:

    What a tremendous waste of time! What a freaking joke! If he was so worried about the death of cats why didn’t he file proceedings against Officer Phillip Reynolds for his killing of a cat. Of all the things to file this type of action over, why not filing a citizens criminal complaint against the corrupt officials in Lewis County???? This was a waste of time, money, and a law degree.

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