Overton appeals verdict

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 6, 2007

WINDSOR – A Windsor man, charged in February with cruelty to animals, has appealed a guilty verdict handed down here last week in Bertie County District Court.

Walter Thomas Overton Jr. of 515 Grabtown Road had his day in court June 29. There, Senior District Court Judge Alfred Kwasikpui found Overton guilty on three counts of animal cruelty.

Through his attorney, Louie Wilson, Overton appealed the verdict to Bertie Superior Court.

In entering the guilty verdict, Judge Kwasikpui sentenced Overton to 120 days in jail, suspended; 10 days active behind bars (plus jail fees) and 150 hours of community service working at an animal shelter. That community service must be completed within six months.

Additionally, Judge Kwasikpui restricted Overton from owning or possessing animals and that any animal(s) currently in his care be immediately seized.

Overton was also ordered to compensate a veterinary expert witness $1,200 and pay $520 for a public defender and other court costs. He was placed on supervised probation for 18 months.

Upon appealing the verdict, Judge Kwasikpui modified the pre-trial release conditions by prohibiting Overton from owning or possessing animals prior to his Superior Court date. Overton was also placed under a $3,000 cash bond.

Overton was arrested Feb. 23 on the misdemeanor charges.

Bertie Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Ed Pittman said the arrest stemmed from a complaint lodged in December concerning Overton’s alleged mistreatment of three pit bulls. Those dogs eventually died as a result of that alleged mistreatment.

Pittman, who investigated the case and made the arrest, said it appeared to him the dogs were starved and neglected.

An autopsy revealed Whip worms and Round worms in the dogs. It also showed that the stomachs and intestines of all three animals were empty.