Outspoken Witness to Kitten Drownings Undergoes Intimidation From Neighbors
“I will never be a witness to anything ever again in my life. I don’t care if I see a murder in front of me. I would never say a word, and that’s what this is sending to other people.”
Christine Ohm is the Las Vegas woman who contacted authorities when she witnessed two teen aged boys drowning a pair of newborn kittens in a glass of water in June. She spoke out publicly on the case and her desire for justice for the innocent babies killed in the depraved act. Christine spoke out despite some threats and the knowledge that she would have to live near the perpetrators’ families and possibly suffer retribution. Despite instruction from the court that neither of the two boys have contact with any witnesses, made at the July juvenile court sentencing passed down after a plea deal, Christine has undergone vandalism and other forms of intimidation since August. The probation office has not publicly shown much concern for Christine’s safety or peace of mind.
The drownings occurred in Christine’s next door neighbor’s back yard, and one of the two boys is the neighbor’s son. Father and son claim the boys were carrying out the father’s wishes to dispose of the unwanted animals that were born to a stray in Christine’s yard. Christine peered over the wall between the two properties when she heard the commotion cause by the Mama cat’s distress and the babies’ suffering. She took a photo that captured the killers and their victims at the scene.
The pair of 16 year olds killed the kittens, laughed about it, joked about possibly killing the stray Mama cat, were threatening, and received a slap on the wrist in juvenile court. Each admitted guilt on one count of felony cruelty in order to have other charges dropped. The patchwork of small punishments and monitoring left the pair out on the street again after serving 10 days on top of 20 days served while awaiting their day in court. Each are under supervision of the probation office.
By the time of a channel 13 news report from August 30, Christine was already under siege. She reported that a sign saying WARNING: NO TRESPASSING. BEYOND THIS POINT DEADLY FORCE IS AUTHORIZED had been posted by the neighboring Deegan family, facing into her backyard, and visible only to her. A complaint to the probation office got the father, who admitted to putting it up, to take the sign down. Christine also reported a basketball being thrown into her glass doors and that her outdoor ceiling fans had been loosened so that one crashed down onto her patio table. The video report from channel 13 shows photos documenting the incidents. The teenaged son, who received just days on jail time, has a record of delinquent behavior.
Probation services told channel 13 that the neighbors’ behavior amounted to bad judgement rather than a probation violation, and said they had counseled the family to ensure that such incidents didn’t happen again. Clark County’s Juvenile Justice Service director Fritz Reese also said his office is stretched thin.
Last Friday, September 21, channel 3 news ran the story seen below. Now the neighbors have surveillance cameras directed at Christine’s property so that she feels watched and intimidated day and night. “It’s frightening having someone watch you 24/7 — I don’t think I deserve that,” Christine said. “I didn’t do anything to him. I don’t know why he is doing that to me.” Obviously, the neighbors do not view the situation the same way. Christine learned the family’s last status check was on Monday, and she finds it disturbing that the cameras pointed at her backyard sprung up the following day. She feels that she is under constant harassment. “They can view everything whatever I’m doing,” she said. “They see me coming in and out of my door. It goes directly to my back door.”
Christine said last week that she planned to ask the probation office if the cameras constituted a violation.