Circuit Judge Christopher Patterson sentenced Ronald Williams, 37, to what amounts to six years in prison for felony cruelty to animals.
Thirty-seven greyhounds in Williams’ care were discovered dead last year, and five more in severe distress were rescued, after officials responded to a complaint about the career dog trainer. He pleaded no contest to Patterson, but without a negotiated agreement with the state as to a possible sentence, to 39 counts of felony animal cruelty.
Patterson sentenced him to five years in prison on each count, the maximum penalty, but ran the terms concurrently so Williams will serve them all at the same time. There was no probation to follow, but Williams’ license to train dogs has been revoked.
Williams was originally charged with 42 counts of felony animal cruelty, but three counts were dismissed when dog track records showed those dogs were euthanized according to protocol. Williams had been held in jail on bond since his arrest about a year ago. Normally, a defendant’s “jail credit”, the time he spends in jail awaiting the disposition of his case, is counted toward his prison sentence. But Williams waived his jail credit so his five-year sentence begins today.
Williams also reserved the right to appeal Patterson’s denial of his motion to dismiss.
*Information provided by the State Attorney’s Office