Athens man pleads not guilty in Craigslist kitten killings
ATHENS, Ala. (AP) An Alabama man accused of killing kittens he found on a website pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty Tuesday and received a court-appointed lawyer to defend him during a trial set for later this year. Ronald Fraser Golden, 49, of Athens pleaded not guilty to 22 cruelty charges during a brief hearing in Limestone County, where authorities say he killed the animals in a part of his home he called "the cat room." A judge appointed attorney for the man, who filed papers saying he has a disposable income of $16.90 a month after living expenses, and scheduled a jury trial to begin Dec. 1. Golden was arrested last year. Athens police said they found blood-splattered walls inside a room in Golden's home in north Alabama while officers were responding to a call about kitten carcasses littering the area. Police said Golden told officers he was "angry at the world." He searched the website Craigslist for kittens that he would bring home and name before killing them by stomping, strangulation or slamming to the floor, police said. Investigators found five dead kittens in brush outside the house, police said. Golden is free on bond. In court papers seeking a taxpayer-funded attorney, he described himself as being disabled and receiving benefits that include food stamps and Medicare with a total income of $1,120 a month. Golden was held for a mental evaluation at the time of his arrest, but the results haven't been made public. Golden's court-appointed lawyer, Lucas Beaty, did not return a message seeking comment.