Dexter kitten gained worldwide support as he tried to recover from a brutal beating last year. Today his accused attacker was found guilty of the abominable crime.
Yesterday we reported in Wilana Frazier Dexter Kitten Trial Begins that the woman accused of brutally beating two tiny kittens and encouraging her two young sons to assist was finally getting her day in court after months of pretrial hearings and delays. The incident occurred in broad daylight on June 10, 2011 at the Hill ‘n Dale park in Brooksville, FL, as children played.
One of the kittens, posthumously named Drake, died at the scene. The other kitten, Dexter, was rescued by some children after he was horribly brutalized, and he was taken to PetLuv Spay and Neuter Clinic, which assumed responsibility for his care. Dexter became known worldwide, as supporters followed his progress toward healing and his sweet personality showed through. Sadly, not long after he was officially adopted by the vet tech who cared for him, Dexter has to be released from his suffering as he was gripped by seizures caused by head trauma.
Eyewitnesses claimed that the 25 year old Frazier and her children were responsible for the attacks on the two kittens. The jury was selected and the trial began yesterday, and proceedings concluded today.
Frazier, who turned down a plea deal that would have netted her 1 year in the county jail, testified in her own defense today. She was unable to come off well, especially when she represented herself as an animal lover who’d had a dog until it was removed because of the charges in the Dexter case. That assertion rang hollow when the prosecutor was able to cite a report from animal control that the animal was emaciated when removed. Frazier also had to admit that the animal was “a backyard dog”.
Frazier’s only defense witnesses were her brother and fiance, both of whom were described by trial onlookers as being big and tough looking men who seethed anger, gave intimidating glares toward trial watchers and made pointed comments to them. Felicia Poquette, who followed each court appearance in the case for those too far away to do so themselves, told us that one of the men turned toward her and her companions and contemptuously said “animal lovers”, as though it was a slur. Felicia said she thinks that the decorum required in court prevented the expression from being a much harsher one. A woman seen leaving the court is thought to have been a female defense witness who declined to take the stan.
As expected, the trial’s outcome hinged on the eyewitness testimony of three children whose identities are not being released. The trial’s crucial young witnesses are considered to have had no reason to make false accusations. They showed bravery in appearing before Frazier and her relatives and telling what they saw, as did their parents, who allowed them to appear. As each took the stand they were grilled by the defense, and Frazier’s representative tried to cause them to falter. While the children were nervous, they maintained their composure and told their accounts of the incident. There were minor inconsistencies, and not all of the children were able to make a 100% identification of Frazier and the boys, but the jury believed that they had witnessed the events and were telling the truth about Frazier and her two sons.
Frazier was found guilty on both of the two felony counts of animal abuse she was charged with, and one of two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. As she and her counsel asked for her to be allowed to remain free while awaiting sentencing, the judge declined and had her led away to jail. Frazier, who was pregnant at the time of the attacks, revealed in court today that she is pregnant again. She cried upon learning she would be jailed and asked what would become of her children. The judge noted that there were family members available to care for the children.
Sentencing is expected on August 2. Frazier could face 12 years in prison if given the maximum punishment.
Felicia Poquette reflected on the trial and said that, while she was there to make sure Dexter and his supporters were represented during the proceedings, she had kept an open mind, not wanting to see an innocent person convicted. She said that, all things considered, after observing the defendant’s demeanor for several months, and following the trial, she feels that justice was done.
For coverage of Dexter’s story and the legal proceedings against Wilana Frazier, from the beginning, click HERE.
Two local video news reports on trial and verdict were made available this evening.