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Man to repay Humane Society $1,300

NATCHEZ — A Natchez man was ordered to pay $1,300 in restitution to the Natchez-Adams Humane Society in Adams County Justice Court on Tuesday after entering a no contest plea to a charge of malicious mischief.

Timothy S. Ballard, 39, was originally charged with cruelty to animals after neighbors called Adams County Sheriff’s Deputies to his property on Knotts Road on Aug. 12, 2019.

“Upon our arrival we observed a small brown female mutt very emaciated roaming free on the property,” wrote Karen Ewing, Adams County deputy in her report. “We then located a brindle color female pit bull, also very emaciated, tied with a cable to a tree near the rear of the mobile home on the property. We checked the house but the door was padlocked, and it appeared that no one had been there for sometime. The dogs had no access to food or water and we then took possession of the two dogs for their well-being. It was determined at this time that the people living at this residence are offenders Timothy Ballard and Stacey Purvis.”

The dogs were transported to the Adams County Humane Society where they were taken care of and provided veterinary care. One of the dogs was eventually adopted out, Ewing said, and the other is now healthy and seeking an adoptive home.

Initially, both Ballard and Purvis were charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty.

During court Tuesday, however, the charge against Purvis was dropped and the charge against Ballard was changed as part of a plea arrangement to malicious mischief with a fine and restitution of $1,300 to repay the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.

“It was due to a lack of proof,” County Prosecutor Carmen Drake said of the plea arrangement. “The evidence that the state had was not enough to secure a conviction, but it was my decision that instead of us forfeiting getting any redress for the effort, money and time by the humane society that we would salvage the case the best we could.”

Drake said Purvis and Ballard were not at the property when the offense occurred.

“They had a witness that was going to testify that he was taking care of the dogs,” Drake said. “There were two dogs that were a part of the charge. Only one of them was on a chain. They didn’t even have any knowledge of the other dog that was associated with the simple animal cruelty, so in an effort to salvage the case and to get some redress I made the decision — and I also consulted with the deputy, Karen Ewing, and had she wanted to pursue it I would have but I did advise her that if we went forward with the trial we probably would just get a not guilty.”