YALOBUSHA CO., Miss. (WTVA) -- A judge has sentenced two people charged in connection with a case of animal abuse in Yalobusha County.
Investigators say on September 17, Christina Montgomery and Rodney Hanks of Coffeeville failed to appear in Yalobusha County Justice Court, each on a count of failure to provide their turtles with food and water and one count of cruelty for the suffering and deaths of dogs, cats, and turtles.
Montgomery and Hanks are accused of locking the animals in their residence as they fled from an investigation by the Department of Human Services into the neglect of Montgomery’s children.
Eight animals perished including six cats and two turtles.
Hope Animal Sanctuary cared for and placed the three animals that survived after nearly a month locked in the residence.
The pair were provided a public defender and convicted in absentia.
On October 5, the pair was apprehended by their bondsman.
On Tuesday, October 8, presiding Justice Court Judge Gary Tippet sentenced Hanks and Montgomery each to fines of $1082.50 for the combined charges, $476.50 in court costs, and jail time of 50 days for the lesser count, 180 days for the greater, to be served consecutively. If the pair seeks an appeal the bond will be set at $2,600 each for court and personal bond.
HAS Director Doll Stanley said, “We were elated with Judge Tippet’s rulings in the conviction and sentencing of Hanks and Montgomery. Their crimes were outrageous. One can only begin to imagine the suffering of the helpless animals they so callously abandoned. The judge understood that animal suffering is senseless and inexcusable.”