PETA urges vigorous prosecution of animal killer

Published 8:33 pm Thursday, July 22, 2004

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sent a letter Wednesday to Cass County Prosecutor Victor A. Fitz urging him to "vigorously" prosecute Jason A. Yeomans, 30, of O'Keefe Street, LaGrange Township.
The Cassopolis man, accused of killing his wife's horse, shooting their dog and setting his own home on fire during a July 14 domestic dispute, was scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 this afternoon for a preliminary examination of the evidence, however , that hearing was in doubt this morning because the Law and Courts Building was without power.
Fitz, who had just finished conducting the Republican Women's scholarship auction at Southwestern Michigan College with Sheriff Joe Underwood, said Wednesday night it is the first time in his 21 years as prosecutor that PETA, based in Norfolk, Va., has involved itself in one of his cases.
Fitz said that shouldn't pose a problem because his office adheres to a tough stance on all violent crime, and this will be no exception. He said there would be no offers to plead guilty to lesser offenses.
Yeomans was charged with two counts of animal cruelty, two counts of felony firearm and one count of arson. He was being held in the county jail in lieu of $50,000 bond.
Sheriff's Office deputies responded at 12:39 a.m. July 14 to a 911 call about a house fire to find Yeomans outside the residence.
The subject's clothing smelled of accelerants and was covered in what appeared to be blood.
The horse was found dead, while the dog had to be euthanized by Animal Control officers due to the extent of its injuries.
PETA also said it is sending TV stations serving the Cass County area its brand-new, anti-violence public service announcement hosted by actor Dennis Franz, who plays Andy Sipowicz on ABC's "NYPD Blue." Visit for more information.
PETA is the world's largest animal rights organization, with more than 800,000 members and supporters dedicated to animal protection.
Paden added, "Upon conviction and in addition to the 20 years of incarceration he would thus face, we ask that Jason Yeomans be required to undergo a thorough psychological evaluation followed by mandatory counseling at his expense -- the safety of the community may depend on it.