Bond reduction request denied for South Bend man accused of killing cats found in alleyway

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By: Jon Zimney

Bond reduction denied for a South Bend man charged with killing and mutilating animals.

Ares Lee Howard, 30, had asked that his bond be lowered from $11,000 to $3,000 so he can get out of jail and stay with his family, according to WSBT.

The judge denied the request on Wednesday, July 15, because of the disturbing nature of the charges, WSBT reported.

Authorities discovered dozens of dead animals, including several neighborhood pet cats, shot dead in an alley behind Indiana Avenue in South Bend in March 2014, according to court documents.

Howard is charged with three counts of killing a domestic animal and eight counts of mutilating a vertebrae animal. All charges are class D felonies. He’s suspected of using a BB gun or .22 caliber handgun to shoot the animals.

About a dozen protesters with signs gathered outside the courthouse and celebrated the denial of the bond reduction. They said if Howard is convicted, they would like to see him receive the maximum sentence, which would be 33 years for his charges.

“I think that this person in particular is a danger to the community because it’s not just killing. It’s mutilating. I really want to see jail time,” Pam Wesolowski, director of the Michiana Feral Cat Initiative, told 95.3 MNC’s news partners ABC 57.

Howard’s next hearing is set for Sept. 14.