California woman charged with dumping puppies in trash

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This Friday, April 19, 2019, photo from surveillance video provided by Riverside County Animal Services shows a woman, later identified by authorities as Deborah Sue Culwell, dumping a plastic bag of puppies into a trash bin behind an auto parts store in Coachella, Calif. (AP)
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This Monday, April 22, 2019, photo taken by a Riverside County Animal Services officer shows the arrest of Deborah Sue Culwell at her Coachella, Calif., home. (AP)
Updated 24 April 2019
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California woman charged with dumping puppies in trash

  • The five male and two female puppies, believed to be terrier mixes, survived after spending about an hour inside a plastic bag in the dumpster, which was open

LOS ANGELES: A California woman could face up to seven years behind bars on a slew of charges filed Tuesday after authorities say surveillance video showed her casually tossing a bag of 3-day-old puppies into a trash can on a sweltering day.
Deborah Sue Culwell, 54, was charged with seven felony counts of injuring the palm-sized puppies and seven misdemeanor counts of abandoning them.
The puppies’ mother may have been among 38 dogs found inside Culwell’s home following her arrest, and authorities were determining whether a reunion would be possible, according to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Though most of the 38 dogs in the home appeared to be “somewhat healthy,” some were aggressive or fearful, the agency said, adding that the house was in a state of disrepair.
The case drew national attention after surveillance video showed a woman dropping a bag with the puppies into the trash Thursday before taking off in a Jeep Wrangler. Authorities posted the video to social media to help track her down, but they ultimately found Culwell based on a search of the Jeep’s plate number.
It’s unclear if Culwell has an attorney. Her number is unlisted.
Video of the arrest shows Culwell being led from her home as a reporter with KNBC-TV peppers her with questions such as, “Why would you throw those puppies away like trash?” and “Do you have anything to say about your actions?“
A handcuffed Culwell remained silent as she was taken from her home in Coachella, a desert city about 130 miles (210 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.
The five male and two female puppies, believed to be terrier mixes, survived after spending about an hour inside a plastic bag in the dumpster, which was open. A man heard them crying and took the puppies to a nearby store, where an employee called authorities.
“If not for the good Samaritan’s actions, the puppies may not have survived much longer,” the animal services agency said in a news release, adding that temperatures in the area had reached the mid-90s on Thursday.
The pups were dehydrated and malnourished and are being cared for by a volunteer who is bottle-feeding them. The volunteer, Noni Boen, posted a video of the puppies cuddling and mewling on Monday, saying they had just been fed and returned to their nap pile.
“There is no excuse for dumping puppies,” Chris Mayer, commander of animal services, said in a statement. “Especially in today’s age when we or other shelters would be willing to get these animals to foster parents or rescue partners. This was a shameful act.”


Former manager of Marvel’s Stan Lee arrested for elder abuse

Updated 26 May 2019
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Former manager of Marvel’s Stan Lee arrested for elder abuse

  • Keya Morgan “will go before a judge and eventually (be) extradited to Los Angeles to face charges”
  • Lee died last November at the age of 95 after suffering multiple illnesses over the years

LOS ANGELES: Late Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee’s former manager was arrested in Arizona on Saturday in connection with allegations of elder abuse, fraud, theft and false imprisonment, Los Angeles police said.
Keya Morgan “will go before a judge and eventually (be) extradited to Los Angeles to face charges,” according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Police Department.
Lee, who revolutionized pop culture as the co-creator of iconic superheroes such as Spider-Man and Black Panther, died last November at the age of 95 after suffering multiple illnesses over the years, and had been the victim in an elder abuse investigation that began in March 2018.
His former attorney, Tom Lallas, last year sought a restraining order against Morgan, claiming that the 43-year-old was a “memorabilia collector who inserted himself into Mr. Lee’s life as his caregiver” and isolated him from his loved ones.
Lallas accused Morgan of exploiting Lee, who he said was exhibiting signs of short-term memory loss and impaired judgment, amid a struggle over the comic-book mogul’s fortune, estimated at over $50 million.
In addition to issuing the restraining order, Los Angeles authorities also arrested Morgan last year for making false calls to 911, alleging that Lee’s life was in danger.
Police say he made the calls in order to convince Lee to leave his Hollywood Hills residence and move to a secured condo in Beverly Hills last June so he would be isolated and under Morgan’s control.
Police also accuse Morgan of stealing, including by staging autograph signing sessions worth $262,000 — money that never made it into Lee’s coffers.
Following last year’s restraining order, Morgan told TMZ that he had “taken great care of Stan Lee for the past many years, and... never had a problem directly with Stan.”
“I will 100 percent prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the allegations against me are false,” he said at the time. “The truth will come out.”