14-year-old Alice belonged to John Hickey, who is devastated over the loss of his beloved companion. Hickey had been on his daily walk with Alice when Courtney Williams approached them and aggressively demanded Hickey's coat. Fearing for his safety, Hickey pulled out pepper spray and tried to fend off Williams.
For a brief time, it seemed that the pepper spray had worked, but those moments of peace were shattered when Williams ran towards the pair and forcefully kicked Alice into the air. Moments later, Alice died in her owner's arms. Hickey described the excruciating last moments of his dog's life:
"She thought everybody liked her and she was just proud of that. And the most horrible thing, when she died she gave me a look, just was like she was confused that anyone would do something like that to her."
The elderly Jack Russell terrier lost her life in this senseless attack, and her owner was injured as well; he is now in a wheelchair. His physical pain pales in comparison to his heartache from losing Alice.
"She got me through days when I literally don't think I would've gotten up in the morning. Except I knew she needed me and she knew that I needed her."
What Courtney Williams did to Alice is unconscionable! We need as many signatures as possible to show the judge that this appalling case of animal cruelty deserves the maximum sentence. This man is a danger to society and must be put away!
The court is scheduled for June 17.
Individuals are presumed innocent until being found guilty in a court of law.
Update 7/19/2021: The victim's sister has reached out to Animal Victory to express gratitude for helping to raise awareness of this crime, and for our efforts to get justice for Alice. We have learned that the next court date is scheduled for August 19, 2021 at 9 a.m., and the victim's family is hopeful that people in the area will show up at the courthouse (King County Courthouse, 516 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA) to show support for John Hickey.
Update 6/23/2021: Animal Victory has received a response from the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office:
Subject: RE: Petition asking for Courtney Williams to receive the maximum sentence
Dear Janelle and Penny,
As we shared with reporters when this case was filed, we take very seriously acts of animal cruelty and believe we can prove first-degree animal cruelty beyond a reasonable doubt in this case.
In this case, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed the highest animal cruelty charge in Washington State (other than sexual motivation or animal fighting, which are not present here).
Ultimately, Mr. Williams’ sentence will be up to a judge.
The details of the incident you shared in your note come from the charging documents filed by our office.
We will continue to work with Seattle Police and Seattle Animal Shelter staff, who are investigating this case.
Staff of the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Update 6/17/2021: Today Animal Victory sent 16,631 signatures and comments to the King County Prosecuting Attorney.