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The Bizarre World of Florida

Jury convicts woman in kitten torture case …. now faces up to 12 years in prison. July 16, 2012

Within two hours, the jury found Wilana Frazier guilty on two counts of Animal Abuse and one count of Contributing to Delinquency of a Minor.

She was found not guilty on a third count of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor.

Frazier will be sentenced on August 2. Her defense team argued to keep her out on bond, since she has four children and no priors, but the judge denied it.

She faces up to 12 years in prison.

An outburst came from Frazier’s fiance, Willie bates, upon the release of the verdict. Bates told 10 News, “They convicted my girl on hearsay; This justice system is corrupt.”

The prosecuting attorney said letters from around the world poured in expressing how moved they were by this case, and how badly they wanted justice for Dexter and the other kitten.

Earlier report:

Brooksville, Florida – Closing arguments have wrapped in the trial of a Brooksville woman accused of beating two kittens on June 10, 2011.  One of the kittens died immediately and was found at the bottom of a trashcan.   The other feline, known as Dexter, suffered for several months and then died from a severe brain injury.

Wilana Frazier used an aluminum baseball bat to beat the kittens mercilessly, the state claimed, while encouraging her own children to do the same at Hill ‘n Dale Park.

Dexter’s story has gone worldwide as people all over the globe heard about his case and the torture he suffered.  After the story went viral and more people began talking about it, legislation was drafted by State Senator Mike Fasano to create an animal abuse registry.   It was nicknamed Dexter’s Law, although the bill has not passed.

Frazier is charged with two counts of animal cruelty and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.  She faces up to 12 years in prison if convicted.  The 25-year-old turned down a plea deal for a year in jail.

Frazier was seven months pregnant at time of the incident and has vehemently denied that she had anything to do with the torture of the kittens.  Frazier took the stand Thursday.

She claims that she was keeping score at a local basketball tournament.  When the kittens ran onto the basketball court, Frazier told jurors that she told neighborhood kids to “take the cats off the court.”

She testified, “I felt bad because the cats were killed.  I don’t kill animals.  I don’t do that. I’m an animal lover.”

Frazier’s fiancé and brother both took the stand as defense witnesses.  They told jurors that they never saw Frazier or her sons hurt the kittens.

John Frazier, the defendant’s brother, told jurors that his sister “never left the basketball court.”   He added, “She had to stay there as our scorekeeper.”

During closing arguments, prosecutor Jason Smith showed graphic pictures of the deceased kittens to the jury.  “The defendant beat this kitten and put it in this condition.”

Witnesses testified during the trial that they observed two kittens getting beaten with a bat at the hands of Frazier.

Three children were called as state’s witnesses to testify on Thursday.  There were two boys, a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old.  In addition, an 11-year-old girl was also called to the stand.

Reporters and photographers in the courtroom were told that they could not identify the children by name or show their faces.  The ruling was made by Hernando County Circuit Judge Daniel Merritt.

When one of the children was asked who beat the kitten, he said, “That’s her,” and pointed to Frazier, sitting at the defense table.

One child said she saw Frazier’s own sons beating and torturing one of the kittens.  He described the situation saying that the cat was thrown off a swing, hitting a tree.  He also said that the children kicked the feline.  Another child described a drowning scenario, where the kitten was breathing until it was drenched with water and then died.

The final child who took the stand and told jurors that he saw Frazier using profanity, yelling and instructing her sons to beat the kittens.

“They want you to rely on conflicting testimony of kids,” said Frazier’s defense attorney, Todd Hopson.  At one point during closing arguments, he produced the aluminum bat in question.

“[The state] did not produce any evidence that there was cat blood on this or my client’s fingerprints,” Hopson told jurors.

The black and white kitten, known as Dexter, was brought to an animal hospital in Spring Hill after it was bleeding.   Hernando County Animal Control Officer Linda Christian testified, “It had extreme difficulty breathing.” said Christian.

The kitten clung to life for several months at a local shelter before it was euthanized.  The other kitten was dead and found at the bottom of a trash can.

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