....or maybe he's a WACKO of the week.
from the Times Pic:
FRANKLINTON, La. -- A 61-year-old Franklinton man is accused of killing four small dogs belonging to his neighbors and setting their bodies on fire.
Melvin Holmes has been booked with resisting an officer and with four counts of aggravated cruelty to animals. If convicted on all four counts, he would face at least four years in prison and a $20,000 fine, and up to 40 years on those charges.
The Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office learned about the incident when it received a call from Sandy Boudreaux at around 6 p.m. Saturday.
“The lady was getting ready to move, and she had her dog running around and playing in the yard with some other dogs,” said Deputy Chief Shannon Lyons. “Then she discovered her dog had gone missing, so she checked around. She smelled a strange burning smell, and investigated. She found a fire and (four) small dead dogs in the fire. One of them looked like hers. She called the sheriff’s office.”
She was in the midst of moving to Abita Springs when she returned to her Cypress Road residence to pick up a load. She brought her 18- month-old rat terrier/Chihuahua mix, Maggie, so the dog could have a visit with her puppy friends from the old neighborhood
By the time the vehicle was loaded up and ready to go, Maggie had disappeared. Boudreaux searched the neighborhood. She saw Melvin “Bubba” Holmes, who lives in a FEMA trailer behind her house.
“He said he hadn’t seen her, then he changed the conversation,” said Boudreaux. “He said it was going to be lonely when we moved. I asked him, if he did see her, to keep her and I’d be right back.”
When she returned about half an hour later, she took up the hunt. She noticed an odd smell, and she went to check it out.
“I went down on my knees,” said Boudreaux. “I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t quit crying. I couldn’t really tell what it was. I had to get a stick. Then I realized it was a little puppy head. Maggie was under one of the puppies.
“I didn’t even want to believe it. That was just about all there was to the fire. Two or three branches were on top of them. And it had been a while. They were almost unrecognizable. When I asked him earlier if he’d seen her, she must have already been there.”
“Holmes admitted to the complainant that he shot the dogs,” said Lyons, reading from the WPSO report.
Boudreaux has a couple of questions about that.
“He said ‘we’ did it,” she said. “I think there was another guy involved, but he’s not saying. And I couldn’t tell if the dogs were shot. Maggie was almost in a fetal position. If she was burned alive, that’s what would happen.”
Boudreaux said she did not hear shots.
“I did hear kind of a yelp, but they were playing,” she said. “Maybe the dogs wandered into his yard, but they weren’t doing any harm. He could have called me. I would have gotten them all. We never had any problems before.”
Holmes, 61, of River Road, was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals and resisting an officer.
The penalty for the cruelty charge is “not less that $5,000 and not more than $25,000, with or without hard labor for not less than one year or more than 10 years, or both,” said Lyons.”
And that goes for each involved animal, he said. If the owner of the puppies decides to also press charges and he is convicted of all counts, Holmes faces those penalties times four. He could potentially owe $100,000 in fines and 40 years at hard labor.
That’s small consolation to Boudreaux.
“I’m devastated,” she said. “My 13-year-old son is devastated. My 83-year-old mother; It was her dog. I kept her at my house because she just couldn’t. My whole family is devastated.
“She was such a precious little dog. I’m horrified that someone could do something like this.”
Boudreaux buried all of the dogs near one another in her Cypress Road yard, though she said she might eventually move them.
“We put Maggie where the baby pool was,” she said. “She liked to get in and bite at the water.”
Boudreaux said the cross marker reads: We love you. Maggie and her friends;murdered by Bubba Holmes (in the FEMA trailer) on November 1, 2008.
Holmes could not be reached for comment.