Man accused of killing rabbits pleads not guilty

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RANCHO CUCAMONGA — A Victorville man accused of killing as many as 20 wild rabbits in Ontario pleaded not guilty today to five counts of animal cruelty.

A judge also turned down a prosecutor’s request to set bail for Shea Johnson, 22, who was arrested in May but released from jail on his “own recognizance” pending criminal charges. Today was his first appearance in West Valley Superior Court.

Johnson is accused of capturing wild rabbits at Fox Rent A Car, where he works as a driver, and killing the animals by hitting them with his fists or slamming them against walls and fences.

He was arrested after one of his co-workers secretly took video footage of the alleged abuse and presented it to police, authorities said.

After Johnson pleaded not guilty to criminal charges, Judge Raymond P. Van Stockum rejected Deputy District Attorney Deborah Ploghaus’ request to set Johnson’s bail at $50,000.

“He’s a danger to the community without some kind of bail being set,” Ploghaus said.

Johnson’s attorney, Alphonse Provinziano, told the judge that Johnson “is not going to re-offend in any way.”

Provinziano said Johnson has no prior criminal history, is enrolled in school, and continues to hold his job at Fox Rent A Car, 1776 E. Holt Blvd.

When Provinziano mentioned the business, Van Stockum interrupted him and asked, “Which is overrun with these animals?”

“Yes, your honor,” Provinziano said.

After the hearing, Provinziano said Johnson will not be available for an interview. He declined to discuss Johnson’s possible defense to the charges.

“At this time we’re investigating the case,” he said.

Johnson is next due in court Aug. 3.

16 thoughts on “Man accused of killing rabbits pleads not guilty

  1. How can this lousey “judge” let this scum off? It’s disgusting the the accused bastard needs his head slammed against a wall

  2. This story is such bullshit. I work at Fox in Ontario and this isn’t how it happened. He drives the shuttle back and forth to fox and Ontario airport. When he was coming back to Fox two rabbits ran across the pavement and Shea ran them over on accident. The rabbits were dead and He asked his manager and he told him to throw them over the fence which he did. And just as I was leaving for work he got arrested for animal cruelty. This dude has rabbits for pets at his house and some dogs and turtles, he’s not abusing or klling any of them. I hate how the media twirls things around, this Da Ploghaus doesnt even know, what a bitch

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