Accused kitten killer decalared not guilty by mental disease

According to the outpatient commitment order, Ronald Golden didn't know the difference between right or wrong.

Posted: Feb. 5, 2018 7:26 PM

A Limestone County man charged with 22 counts of animal cruelty will not be prosecuted after a plea agreement was reached today. Ronald Green was declared not guilty by mental disease or defect. In 2013, Golden was arrested after Athen's police said he purchased kittens from craigslist and killed them.

Limestone County district attorney Brian Jones said according to this outpatient commitment order, Ronald Golden didn't know the difference between right or wrong. This makes it no longer a criminal case but instead a mental heath case.

"It makes me feel sick and sad, that somebody would do that to God's creatures, no matter what they are or the age," said animal lover David Barr.

David Barr is an animal lover. He was disappointed when he heard that Golden won't be prosecuted for animal cruelty charges. In 2013, Athens police found a report about dead kittens found near Golden claiming he was killing kittens in his "car room."

"I think he got off light. I think he ought to serve some time for it and be held accountable for his cruel deeds and actions," Barr said.

District attorney Jones told WAAY 31 Ronald Golden has been receiving mental health care since 2013.

"The jury was going to hear the fact that he was not competent to stand trial at the time. Or was not able to understand what he did was wrong at the time of the trial in 2013. That's why this case was pending for so long is because we've been monitoring Mr. Golden's progress to see how he's done," Barr said.

Golden and his attorney did not want to comment about the case. In 60-90 days Golden will be back in court for a hearing on his current mental condition.

"I hope he recovers and gets help if he can. And forgiveness," Barr said.

The next hearing will determine whether or not Golden is institutionalized or if he will continue his current outpatient treatment plan.

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