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Published: Friday, July 15, 2011, 7:00 p.m.

Sultan woman, found carrying dog’s head, is charged with animal cruelty after release from hospital

EVERETT -- A Sultan woman has been charged with animal cruelty for allegedly decapitating and mutilating her dog.
Prosecutors on Wednesday filed the felony charge against Kimberly Wetzel for the May 12 death of a 4-year-old mixed breed dog, Conan. She was booked Friday into the Snohomish County Jail.
Wetzel had been at Western State Hospital. Officials there told prosecutors that Wetzel no longer needs treatment and would be released soon, according to court papers.
Prosecutors wanted Wetzel, 48, moved directly to jail. She was being held Friday on $75,000 bail.
State doctors diagnosed Wetzel with an unspecified mental illness, court papers said. There's not enough information to make a specific diagnosis, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Andrew Alsdorf wrote in court papers.
She hasn't been evaluated to determine if she's competent or what her mental state was at the time of the offense, Alsdorf added.
Wetzel told a sheriff's deputy that the voices in her head told her to "take Conan's head off."
Medical staff reported that when they asked Wetzel about her hallucinations she said, "No, I am not crazy and never was, only when I wanted to act like one," court papers said.
Prosecutors reviewed her treatment records provided by hospital staff before they filed the charge, court papers said.
"People suspected or charged with a crime often have some excuse. As prosecutors we don't have to accept the excuse," Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe said.
Wetzel was found in her bathrobe in the middle of U.S. 2. She was carrying the dog's head wrapped in a towel. Her husband told deputies that he had been working on their property when he heard his wife screaming. He said his wife has suffered from mental health issues for years and it wasn't out of the ordinary for her to scream.
He saw her in the middle of the highway and attempted to subdue her. He soon realized what his wife was holding. He became so upset that he wasn't able to assist a passerby who had stopped to help Wetzel.
Fire crews eventually took Wetzel to Valley General Hospital in Monroe.
Deputies found the rest of the dog inside the couple's bathroom. The dog had extensive injuries all over, court papers said. Wetzel allegedly told deputies that she used household scissors to kill the dog. A bloodied pair of scissors was later discovered in a bathroom cabinet.
A veterinarian examined the dog's remains and determined that he likely died from a loss of blood. She was unable to determine if the dog was conscious while he was being repeatedly cut, court papers said.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;
Story tags » EverettSultanProsecution

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