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12/7/2012 6:01:00 AM
Cat theft trial set: 'I can't believe this is still going on,' says accused
Kristin Freiert
Kristin Freiert
Erin Taylor
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The case of an animal rescuer charged with stealing a cat from a woman she was trying to help is moving forward.

Kristin Freiert said she thought her legal nightmares were over when her theft case ended in a mistrial right after opening statements were made during proceedings in October. She's now learned that her trial has been rescheduled for Dec. 12.

"I'm just kind of numb right now," she said. "I can't believe this is still going on."

Freiert is charged with stealing a cat last year from a woman in Golden Valley who was looking to reduce the number of felines in her home.

The woman had 50 to 100 cats at the time she reached out to Freiert for help with adopting out some and fixing others.

The cat at the center of the case, Denny, was taken by Freiert to be spayed. When the cat was returned, the woman denied that it was the same cat. Freiert said she tried to give the cat back, but the woman refused to accept her.

The theft wasn't reported until almost three months later, when the Western Arizona Humane Society was called in by Freiert to help with the woman's continued cat overpopulation problem.

The case made its way to a jury trial that was held before Judge John Taylor in Kingman Justice Court Oct. 10. About 45 people were called in for jury selection with six jurors ultimately selected just before lunch. The jurors reconvened after lunch for opening statements but were ordered out of the room shortly thereafter when the court received a fax from another judge approving a special action regarding jury instructions filed by the prosecutor.

While the jurors were out of the courtroom, one juror approached Freiert's husband and one of her witnesses and began a conversation. A second juror informed the bailiff, who then told the judge. Taylor declared a mistrial as a result of the confusion resulting from the prosecutor's special action, along with the allegations of juror tampering.

Freiert, who never thought the case would ever make it to trial the first time, said she was shocked when she learned it had been reset. At that point she said she decided to retain a private attorney over her previously appointed public defender.

The private attorney was too busy however, and said he'd need the case to be pushed forward if he were to take it on. Freiert then filed for, and was subsequently denied, a continuance.

"This has been goingon for over a year and a half," she said. "Why the rush now?"

Freiert feels she is being prosecuted for political reasons. She also questions whether the money that has been spent on the case has been a good use of taxpayer funds. Deputy County Manager Dana Hlavac was unable to give a total as to how much it has cost to prosecute Freiert.

"What are they going to get out of this? If I'm found guilty, it's a $200 to $300 fine," Freiert said.

The maximum punishment under the misdemeanor statute she is charged with is a fine of up to $2,500 and six months in jail, but Prosecutor Michael Powell has stated that Freiert's sentence would likely be far less severe.

When contacted Thursday for comment, Powell said he is handling Freiert's case the same as he would anyone else's. He said there is probable cause to support the charge and that he is duty-bound as a prosecutor to follow through on such cases.

Freiert's frustration continues to mount as she said she would much rather focus on getting back to rescuing animals than dealing with legal problems.

"That's where my heart is and that's where it was when I tried to help this lady," she said.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: BOBO CLOWN

I went thru this same type of Garbage in a the Mohave superior? court. Same result a jury found me not guilty. My so called justice took a year 11 court hearings & 3 postponements this county is a JOKE & so is its so called JUSTICE SYSTEM?. I for one say get rid of the whole damed bunch of them Judges Prosecutors , security an all & start NEW......Take it from a clown this system is a JOKE...

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: Do Your Jobs You Lazy Prosecutors And Judges!

The judicial system out here is a joke, you look like a bunch of bumbling, Barney Fife type hicks! If you were ever to prosecute cases or practice law in general in any real city, you'd never make it and would be laughed out of town! You're an absolute disgrace for wasting our money prosecuting cases like this while making plea deals with hard criminals, shame on you!

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: Gabby B

@ anonymous anonymous:
It is my opinion that you are missing the point!
This story is about our "county" officials who are alleged human beings charging another human being (Kristin) with a frivolous lawsuit in which that human being was found not to be guilty by other human beings (the jury).
Therefore, these alleged human beings cost other human beings (county residents) thousands of dollars in tax payer money which blew up in their damned faces!
As for a civil lawsuit in the making.... I hope Kristin does file a lawsuit against the county. Once she's proven her case, maybe these alleged human beings will get the hint to stop prosecuting other human beings in frivolous lawsuits!

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: Web Admin

Follow-up article will be in Sunday's paper.

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: Gabby B

Where's the follow up article where Kristin was found not guilty?
Where.... OH where????
Is that not newsworthy?????

Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Betsy the beauty of democracy is you get to have a opinion on anything you wish and I do to! As to animals and such god gave mankind domain over them, I am not to worried about your indignation over my preferring to worry first about human beings and see animals secondary on the concern totem pole, you worry about what makes you happy and I will do like wise!

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: KDM online reader only

PRAISE BE! AMEN! Wow, there is still hope yet in our courts! Shame on you Matt Purcell. It's time for an investigation of you as well as your resignation.

Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Article comment by: Betsy - GAP Force Guardian Angels of Pets

KRISTIN FOUND NOT-GUILTY OF CAT THEFT!!!!!!! 2:45PM THURSDAY13 DECEMBER 2012 - Jury deliberated only about 15 minutes.....

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012
Article comment by: Janet Udave

So unbelievable that this kindhearted, unselfish animal loving lady has not been held in the highest regard. I can relate to her concern and care for so many homeless cats here in Kingman. I was also doing unpaid watch and feeding of a colony of homeless cats in an Industrial area of Kingman, four years ago. I was caught in the act of feeding these 10 homeless cats by the local police and told to Stop what I was doing because it was breaking the law and if he caught me again, I would be arrested etc. That ultimately made me more determined to keep caring for them. Then the predictable happened on May 5, 2008, when I was told by friendly witnesses that Animal Control seized all the cats to be Euthanized. I had called several animal Sanctuaries about advice and maybe them helping these cats to No avail. Too crowed at their no-kill shelters. Always a negative response from them. My favorite handsome and friendly cat that I named Popeye was very adoptable, and I would have taken him home if I hadn't already had four cats of my own. My son and I did manage to save the life of a precious scared orphan kitten in that same area, when at that time Low Cost Spay & Neuter was taking in homeless kittens to be adopted. I wish I could have saved so many more. Please let this wonderful lady keep her passion for helping these cats. Mohave County is quite offensive and Unjust. I need to move and will hopefully one day be able to.

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012
Article comment by: Gabby B

Please contact:
(928) 753-0719

I tried to contact Matt Smith this morning and he was "unavailable".... I also tried to contact the attorney handling this case and he also was "unavailable"
Please inundate this office with your calls and emails.
Thank you.

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012
Article comment by: Gabby B

Instead of "protesting" in front of the Justice Court Please let me make another suggestion
Let's inundate our beloved County Attorney (Matt Smith) with emails and phone calls protesting Kristin's persecution! His email and phone number are on line. If you can leave a comment here, you can email him or call him through the Mohave County Website.
Let's also show up at court in numbers. They can't keep us out of the trial, it is a public forum. We can show our support for Kristin this way!
If we protest, the good ol' Sheriff's office (which is right next door) will send in his gurus to "enforce" the law and arrest us for trespassing (like he did with Fried).
Let's show our support for Kristin by making sure that the county attorney's office know we are against this prosecution and the taxpayer money being spent on this frivolous lawsuit!
That's my opinion!

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: Betsy - GAP Force - Guardian Angels of Pets

Anonymous Anonymous: Here's a little saying just for you, from St Francis of Assisi:
"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men"

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: Betsy - GAP Force - Guardian Angels of Pets

Come to Kristin's trial if you wish to support her cause - this Wednesday 12 December at 8:30am - at the Judicial Court House (inbetween Calico's/Motel 6 and the Sheriff's Building), downtown Kingman. Maybe we should all meet there and go into the building as one big group at about 8:20am??

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: Betsy - GAP Force - Guardian Angels of Pets

Anonymous Anonymous: You are a non-compassionate cruel person to think that it's a waste of time and dollars for people to be concerned with the welfare of dogs and cats. They are all God's you think God is proud of you for turning away from his creatures in need?

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: Gabby B

I am all for protesting outside of the courthouse but remember the last time someone staged a protest (i.e. the Administration building) people were told to leave and some were arrested.
I will be there as much as I can for Kristin. This IS a politically motivated witch hunt! Instead of persecuting this woman, the county should be working with her to help decrease the abandoned animal population in Mohave County. Professionals? I think not or else our government would be supporting her and the Low Cost Spay and Neuter clinic instead of pursuing this expensive, nonsense of a lawsuit.
Something has to be done!
Please contact our County Attorney and let him know that we are not going to tolerate our tax dollars being spent on this nonsense!

Posted: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Article comment by: Jack BeQuick

I hope Kristen has enough money to make it through this, the legal system can be draining. Maybe Erin could do a follow up on how we could help if needed.

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Article comment by: Curiosity killed the cat.

I wonder if the judicial system realizes just how ridiculous this case really is. It shows their priorities, there are drug dealers all over this town, & people doing horrible things. This one person wants to be a good semaritin and make a difference and it's used against her. This is awful.

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Article comment by: pl .....

In a population of 28,000 within Kingman city limits alone, there are only 18 responses here to what can only be described as an insane abuse of power. But it's only the latest abuse of power, as I've tried in the past to write about. The same personnel who would criminally charge a person's credit card after a fine has been paid at the Municipal Court would pursue charges against a woman who only wanted to help others. The same law enforcement who would work with felons for the purposes of extortion and other crimes would not feel obligated to look at this woman's case fairly. It's a lying criminal Government. Get used to it until you are willing to put your bodies on the line (not just your fingers on your keyboard) against it.

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Amusing the great cat conspiracy of Mohave County, while the world has children and adults dying daily from famine, starvation some folks seem obsessed with stray cats, dogs or who has to many pets! I am sure god is pleased with some folks priorities!

Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2012
Article comment by: Highly Amused

Believe it or not - cats are NOT considered a domestic animal! Therefore you can have however many of them you want! Unless, of course, they are posing a health hazard. I was surprised to find this out upon contacting Western Arizona Humane Society (AKA - The Pound). A small kitten had happened upon my yard where I have two pit bulls and a min pin who wanted to play with the kitty. Kitty wasn't having it and treed herself in my yard. I called WAHS to retrieve the animal and was told that since it's not a domestic animal (even if it was a neighbor's cat and had intruded on my property) they will not come pick it up. I could, of course, take it to the pound. Found the cat a home. WAHS is a waste of my time.

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: our own worst enemy mr.c.

And the truth shall set you free, well not everywhere! Jury instruction in a cat case, mishandled.

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: Kari Essex

Kristin does not deserve any of this. I recently received help from Kristin with a stray cat that was not doing so well. At no cost to me she had his ears cleaned and gave me plenty of cat food and toys for my dog. Now the cat named Midnight is a very loving and affectionate member of our family and it's all thanks to Kristin. Why don't you start rounding up all of the tweakers around here instead of messing with good people!

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012


Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Guess some do not like americas legal system, its not perfect but it keeps us from becoming uncivilized, and doing a blood feud over animals, is it not ironic a pig led to a bloody feud between the Hatfields and Mccoys and lots of them died in process! I have no real view on the cat or cats in question, in some places in this old world dogs and cats are viewed like we do a cow, chicken merely part of the food chain! Cannot say I care about this issue, with all the starving human beings on this old earth, figure I will have compassion for my fellow man first and leave this issue to the courts!

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: Sharon E

This is absolutely insane!! Who is the governmental wack job in government who is responsible for this? They should be giving this woman recognition for the good she does for the community. Another example of prosecuting the good people while letting the real criminals off with a slap on the wrist. It's ok to kill someone but God help you if you try to do a good deed.

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