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Protesters turn out at Phillips Agri

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More than 100 people came to support the cause over the course of the day

By Zac Oakes

 

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More than 100 people lined the side of U.S. 68 (Greensburg Road) near Phillips Agri Saturday morning, holding signs and chanting in protest of the recent agreement reached in the Bobby and Rebecca Phillips animal cruelty case.

The protesters lined the street from around 10 a.m. until late in the afternoon, despite a heavy rain falling shortly after noon.

Many of the protesters were local residents, but there were also several protesters that came from across the state and some from outside of Kentucky. Some protestors came from Louisville, a group from Shelbyville was also in attendance, and some came from neighboring states.

The protest was peaceful, from all reports, and there were no incidents reported.

Those protesting were on hand because they were upset by a recent agreement that dropped all charges against Bobby Phillips, and half of the charges faced by his wife.

Via the agreement, all 164 charges against Bobby Phillips were dismissed. He had faced 82 counts of cruelty to animals second degree and 82 counts of failure to vaccinate against rabies.

Rebecca Phillips faced the same counts. Via an agreement reached between special prosecutor Lisa Nally-Martin and Lebanon attorney Jim Avritt, the attorney for the Phillipses, 76 of the cruelty to animals charges as well as 76 of the failure to vaccinate charges were dismissed.

Rebecca Phillips took an Alford Plea on the remaining six charges of cruelty to animals and failure to vaccinate. According to the Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute, an Alford Plea “registers a formal claim neither of guilt nor innocence toward charges brought against a defendant in criminal court… an Alford plea arrests the full process of criminal trial because the defendant — typically, only with the court's permission — accepts all the ramifications of a guilty verdict (i.e. punishment) without first attesting to having committed the crime.”

Rebecca Phillips received a 12-month diversion, meaning if she is not legally accused of any further criminal violations or does not violate the agreement during that time span, then the charges against her will be dismissed as well.

Via the agreement, 25 of the dogs seized from the Phillipses’ property in February and March will be returned back to Rebecca Phillips, and she will get to choose which 25 dogs she receives. The agreement also states that two border collies will be returned to Bobby and Rebecca’s son, Rod, and four dogs will be returned to their daughter, Rikki Moss.

All the remaining dogs are to be forfeited to the Taylor County Animal Shelter, per the agreement.

If the agreement is violated, the commonwealth recommends a jail sentence of six months, according to legal documents.