The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Police/Courts

October 25, 2013

Fayette man arrested, accused of throwing 4 cats and 8 kittens on fire

VICTOR — A Fayette County man was arrested Monday after his wife said he burned four cats and eight kittens, according to State Police records.

Michael Wayne Ford, 56, of Victor, was arrested after Cpl. John Syner of the West Virginia State Police responded to an animal cruelty complaint.

The incident happened Monday around 7 p.m. When Syner got to the scene, he was met by Justin Steele, Michael Ford’s stepson. Steele said he saw his mother, Robin Ford, crying when he got home, the report noted.

Steele told the officer that his mother told him Michael boxed up her cats and threw them on the fire. Steele said he ran  to the fire and heard cats crying, but wasn’t able to get them out, according to the State Police records.

Syner checked the fire pit, saw remains, photographed the scene and had Steele put what was left of the fire out. The cats were then buried.

According to the State Police report, Robin Ford told the officer Michael Ford was complaining about the cats earlier that day. She said she saw him start the fire, but didn’t know what was burning until she went over to it, the report said, but the fire was too big to get the box out.

Syner talked to Michael Ford about the event and read him his Miranda rights, according to the State Police. Police were only able to recover remains of seven animals and charged Ford with seven counts of felony animal cruelty. He was transported to Southern Regional Jail. If convicted, he could face one to five years in jail for each count of animal cruelty.

— E-mail: cneff@register-herald.com

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