Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union
ARCATA – The two men involved in the March 23 killing and slaughter of Princess, the pet pig, will stand trial.
Preliminary hearings have been completed for Jeffery Cody Miller and Ed Jesse Ramos. Preliminary hearings, which are like mini-trials, go over evidence and take testimony to ascertain whether there is enough evidence to proceed with prosecution and with which charges.
Miller, in whose care the pig was left after getting loose from its Park Street family yard, was allegedly the principal slaughterer. Following a June preliminary hearing he is charged with animal cruelty, grand theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The preliminary hearing for Ramos, in whose Shirley Boulevard home the pig met it end, was held last week.
Questioning of Arcata Police officers by Ramos’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Casey Russo, aimed to disassociate his client with the killing and slaughter.
Russo probed details of APD Officer Charlie Anderson’s understanding with Miller for holding on to the pig while arrangements were made for removing it, steering responsibility toward Miller and distancing Ramos. “Was it Jeff who decided to shoot the pig?” Russo asked. “Yes,” said Anderson.
But under questioning from Deputy District Attorney Whitney Timm, APD Detective Victoria Marr said Ramos, who was frustrated with princess’s rooting around in the yard, had invited Miller to the house. He also provided tools for the killing and slaughter.
In rendering his decision, Judge Timothy Canning dismissed an animal cruelty charge against Ramos, saying there was insufficient evidence that his had helped kill the pig.
But, said Canning, it was “fairly clear” that Ramos knew the pig, valued at $3,000, wasn’t his and was supposed to be held until county animal control arrived.
Ramos’s trial on charges of animal cruelty and grand theft is set for August 12.