WASHINGTON STATE – More than a month after his gruesome death, animal lovers gathered on Monday evening to show that Jay the cat will never be forgotten.
Approximately 10 people gathered at 6 p.m. at Bethel Church-Assembly of God before a town hall meeting which was hosted by Lewis County Sheriff Rob Snaza and Lewis County Prosecutor Jonathan Meyer.
Tracy Clark said she organized the event “to seek justice for Jay.”
“We’re hoping for an arrest,” she stated.
Back on April 28, the Centralia Police Department arrested a man on suspicion of killing the cat on the 100 block of Virginia Drive in Centralia.
However, the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office determined soon after reviewing the case that there supposedly wasn’t enough evidence against the man to charge him.
The Prosecutor’s Office also determined that it seemed more likely a group of juveniles from the area at the time was somehow involved in the death.
However, deputy prosecutor Kevin Nelson did note at the time that, because the Centralia Police Department had not kept the cat’s body as evidence, there was very little his office could do.
The cat was “squeezed,” had been thrown or dropped from a second-story balcony at least two times, and had a stone thrown or dropped on its head, according to the Prosecutor’s Office. The cat was also stabbed at one point or another.
In mid-May, the police department acknowledged that it did make some errors in the investigation and stated that it was working to update its policies. The body of the cat was recovered and officers, working with the Prosecutor’s Office, then continued their investigation.
Since that time, the Prosecutor’s Office has taken action against one suspect, Meyer told The Chronicle Monday.
In the end, an 11-year-old Centralia child is being referred to the county’s juvenile diversion program, he stated.
In Washington, children 8 to 11 years old are presumed to be incapable of committing a crime, Meyer explained. Prosecutors, therefore, must prove intent to commit a crime in those cases.
In this particular case, because of the charge of second-degree animal cruelty, the case was automatically referred to juvenile probation, he stated.
Some Jay supporters explained they are disappointed more hadn’t been done, and more suspects haven’t been charged.
“Animal cruelty needs to be stopped,” Leah Lester stated. “They have feelings … These people need to be brought to justice.”
Some supporters have said they plan to continue speaking for Jay and other abused animals.
“If we’re not here to speak for them, who will?” Michelle Glasser declared.