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Palacios Pled to Animal Cruelty
updated: May 28, 2014, 8:06 PM

By SB County District Attorney

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that 43-year old Nellie Marie Palacios pled to the felony charge of felony cruelty to an animal, a violation of Penal Code section 597(a).

On January 2, 2014, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a residence in Orcutt, based upon a report that Ms. Palacios had stabbed and fatally injured a cat.

As a result of this plea, Ms. Palacios will be placed on five years' felony probation and receive credit for the 25 days she already served in county jail. Additionally, she will be required to participate in the Dual Diagnosis Treatment Court for 18 months. The Dual Diagnosis Treatment Court specifically focuses on individuals who suffer from both mental illness and substance abuse.

District Attorney Dudley stated, "Our office is committed to prosecuting animal abuse crimes because of both the serious nature of the crime itself, and because of the strong correlation between animal abuse and other violent crimes. The treatment court team is an important part of our criminal justice system because they have the training to focus on individuals who are mentally ill and engaging in substance abuse, in an effort to seek the cause of the defendant's criminal behavior."

The sentencing was continued to June 5, 2014, in Department 3, before the Hon. Judge Kay Kuns.

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  • January 3, 2014: Animal Cruelty and Burglary Arrest
  • January 6, 2014: People v. Nellie Marie Palacios

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