Friday, November 11, 2005

In the news...

I like animals and all, really I do.  I think biting the heads off of birds is something that should be strongly discouraged.  Yes, even prosecuted at times.  But something about this for some reason doesn’t sit well with me.

Man jailed for biting off bird’s head Windham resident pleads guilty to decapitating friend’s pet

 By Marci Piltz
Record-Courier staff writer

WINDHAM - A village resident recently pleaded guilty to biting the head off a friend’s pet bird after DNA evidence linked him to the dead animal.

Cory Ledlow, 26, of 9859 Bright Drive, was fined $100 plus court costs and sentenced to 10 days in jail after pleading guilty to a charge of cruelty to animals, a first-degree misdemeanor, according to Portage County Municipal Court records.

Windham Police Chief Jack DeSalvo said the bizarre case was first reported more than six months ago, when a North Main Street resident called police to report finding her bird decapitated.

“The cockatoo’s head was just laying in the birdcage,” DeSalvo said.

He said Ledlow had gone to the residence after drinking at a bar one night in April. The pet’s owner and another person also were at the residence that night, DeSalvo said.

The next morning, the victim awoke to find the bird’s head detached from it’s body. The other person at the residence told the victim Ledlow had bit the head off the bird, but Ledlow denied doing so to police, DeSalvo said.

To check out the story, DeSalvo said police took DNA swabs from both Ledlow and the head of the bird. The samples were sent for analysis to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification.

“It came back that the saliva on the bird’s head matched the DNA of the suspect,” DeSalvo said.

Once those results were obtained, police issued a warrant for Ledlow’s arrest. He was arraigned on the charges in October and eventually pleaded guilty to the charge.

“This was a child’s pet bird, and naturally, they were upset that such a thing happened to one of their pets,” DeSalvo said. “This was just disgusting and cruel. It was a terrible thing to do to the family, and there was nothing to provoke him to do this from what we found.”
I shudder to think how much this whole ordeal cost the Village.  Last I heard, DNA testing can regularly cost over $1000, not to mention investigation time. 
Really, I don’t want to come off as callous about this or anything.  Its just…odd.

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