Prosecutors say they have a lot of evidence in the biggest animal cruelty case they’ve ever handled in Candler County. The accused, Angela Powell faces 35 counts of animal cruelty, 4 are felonies and 31 are misdemeanors. The trial was set to begin next month, but now it’s being pushed back to the next term.
Powell’s attorney, Mitchell Shook, is being granted a continuance because the defense is waiting for documents the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Tripp Fitzner did not object due to the amount of evidence in the case, “The discovery, in this case, is very voluminous ’cause there are a lot of moving parts. The crime scene was very large and this gives both parties a better chance to prepare. It’s gonna be a very involved trial,” Fitzner said.
Authorities rescued more than 100 dogs from Powell’s property in Candler County in January. They were living in cramped igloo-type shelters outdoors. But the dogs were, covered with mud and feces, and many dogs were reportedly diseased as a result of the conditions. Several rescue groups assisted authorities when the dogs were removed from Powell’s property. Fitzner explains why their owner isn’t facing a charge for every dog that was rescued, “We got the worst of the worst and the worst of the worst is what was charged,” Fitzner said.
Each charge carries potential jail time if Powell is convicted. In that instance, consecutive sentences amount to more than 100 behind bars. Neither Powell, nor her attorney offered comment after court, but Shook did say “I want the public to keep an open mind. My client is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Shook said as he left the courtroom. The next trial term for the Candler County Superior Court is February 2020, but no trial date has been set at this time. Powell remains free on bond.