I scoured the Internet yesterday through the day seeking information on the sentencing of Noah Mitchell, but couldn't find anything at all. Even this morning I searched & searched to no avail. When I opened up my local paper, I found a very tiny blurb informing me of the following. Noah Mitchell, the individual who was accused and found guilty by a jury of his peers, of brutally beating a 9 month old Labrador retriever in the Upper Keys about 10 months ago has been sentenced to 9 months in jail and 5 years probation. Maximum sentence would have been 12 months in jail. He is free on bail as he appeals his case. Noah Mitchell doesn't dispute that Bubba was injured, however he disputes how it happened. He says it was an accident. Eye witness testimony is contrary, offering up a version of Noah Mitchell brutalizing Bubba to the point of near death, along with testimony of doctors who cared for Bubba saying the violent and extensive injuries Bubba sustained are inconsistent with the abuser's version.
I am among those who feel a maximum sentence would have been appropriate and am sorry to see 12 months was not imposed. However, in the scheme of things from a judicial perspective I suppose the 9 month sentence is on the higher end of the scale, and it seems to me the judge in this matter probably took many things into consideration that I am unaware of. I wrote a letter to the judge voicing my perspective on this matter, not that it matters, but at least I felt I was doing something to lobby for justice for a voiceless victim. I have feelings that often times victims are victimized twice... once when a crime is committed against them, and again when the "system" gets involved. I am thankful that in this case there were people who stepped up to help Bubba, stepped up to testify, and stepped up to take this matter through the court process.
Now as the judicial process drags on, the convicted abuser Noah Mitchell is out on bail. I will keep you informed when there are updates, but expect that it will take awhile.
As far as other goings on around here, its been pretty good. The biggest other news on the home front is that we have our first turtle nest, which was found by a "freshman" walker. I am so happy a new walker has found a nest, it really is a huge morale booster.... believe me I know! All the trash collecting and walking in the heat, humidity or rain can take a toll. But, finding a nest erases the toll and completely re-energizes the effort. So, there's a loggerhead nest out there with little turtles percolating in there. I promise to keep you posted on this nest, and others as they occur.
Also as I recently posted about, it is fawning season. We've got 2 in our herd so far. Look!
|Mommy gives her baby a lesson in eating the tree trimmings at the buffet station.|
It's probably good for me to mention that I have a pretty decent telephoto lens, so when I took these pictures I was not as close as you may think I am. Staying away from the babies is important. I cannot stress enough how easy it is for these wild animals to imprint with abnormal behavior when humans intervene. I was screamed and cursed at once again last week by visitors on my street who took it upon themselves to stop their car in the middle of the street to feed and take pictures of deer. I always start out nicely asking people to move along, but virtually without fail I am verbally attacked for my intervention. I hope they enjoy the "gift" that is coming in the mail from the authorities when they get home based upon their illegal acts. We work hard to insure the safety of these beautiful, yet endangered species.
We happy vegans recently took a few much needed days off. We got out on the boat for 2 days straight. It was spectacular being on the water. I saw a school of very big sharks, an iguana swimming in a canal (looking freakish but really cool all the same), way too many jellyfish in the back canals (probably connected to the dwindling numbers of sea turtles who eat said jellies), rays, and other marine creatures. While tooling in the back canals I also saw 2 large schools of medium size fish taking refuge under large mangrove roots. None of these happenings were captured by my camera, of course I was far too slow on the uptake to do so. We anchored at a different spot each day, and I am proud to announce that I came away from 2 solid days on the water with barely any visible evidence on my skin of the long days on the water. Sunblock, my friends, is my constant companion these days. I claim victory for no tan, no sunburn, and certainly no sun poisoning. I also spent quite a bit of time floating in the ocean. Lucky for me this time the tether did not come undone and my feet landed back safely on solid land with nary a panic attack.
|Deer Run, as we pull away from the shore.|
|On the way around to the other side of Big Pine.|
|Here's some homes on the other (non-Atlantic) side of beautiful Big Pine Key. We headed out this way hoping to see some manatees. Didn't see any manatees, but had a great day anyway.|
We both did some beach cleaning over the holiday, and also observed Memorial Day much like many others around the country did, reflecting on the ultimate sacrifice that the fallen have paid.
I tried a few new recipes on my days off, and out of all that I came away with a new gluten free, soy free coconut bar that needed a few tweaks and tries to get it "right." Success comes with lots of composting in the baking department.
I suppose that essentially brings you current on what's what in our neck of the woods. We're moving along quickly into the summer months, hard to believe considering it seems like yesterday I was hearing tales of snow and woe.
Keep channeling the good thoughts for the wildlife!