A man accused of killing and raping an 8-year-old’s therapy dog named Diamond was charged with first degree animal cruelty in Thurston County Superior Court yesterday in Olympia.
James Evans pled not guilty to the charges. He was arrested earlier this month not long after a mountain biker found Diamond hanging from a tree branch in the Summit Lake area of Thurston County on March 22.
The Olympian reported that “a veterinary necropsy showed that the dog died from asphyxiation, and that there was evidence of severe trauma to the dog’s anus and rectum.”
Evens could face additional charges based on DNA results. He is currently free after posting a $50,000 bail.
Many thanks to the Facebook group Justice (“Just Us”) for Diamond for organizing a huge turnout of people for the arraignment hearing. The Olympian reported about 75 people wearing pink t-shirts printed with Diamond’s name printed on the front showed up for the hearing.
The paper also reported that Officer Erika Johnson from Thurston County Animal Services said “she has never seen so many people attend an animal cruelty hearing.”
And KPQ reported that Undercover Investigator Samantha Smith said “her history in abuse cases demonstrates judges have been more likely to issue harsher sentences keeping violent offenders, if guilty, in prison longer if the public turns out to show officials they care about a case outcome.”
Evans’ trial is scheduled for July 25. To get information about the case and any events supporting Diamond are planned, go to the Justice (“Just Us”) for Diamond Facebook page.