Cat Killer's Parole Denied, Victim Thanks SupportersPosted by Megan Backus, ALDF's Media Relations Associate on March 2nd, 2011
In 2008, Russell Swigart broke into his former co-worker’s home and brutally stabbed two of her cats to death. Swigart was the first person in Northern Kentucky to be charged with felony animal torture (thanks to Romeo's Law) and was sentenced to a 12 year prison term in December 2009. However, less than two and half years into his sentence Swigart became eligible for parole.
Determined to keep him behind bars the cats' guardian, Bridgett Wright, started a petition on Change.org and with the help of an ALDF alert, was able to collect more than 15,000 signatures. The massive outpouring of support sent a clear message to lawmakers that animal abuse is a crime that should be taken seriously.
On February 15th Russell Swigart’s parole was denied and Bridgett sent us this letter to express her deep gratitude to all of her supporters.
I am happy to report the Kentucky Parole Board honored my request and denied "Cat Killer" Russell Swigart's parole! He will not be eligible for parole again until February 2013.
I attended my victim's hearing armed with over 15,700 signatures from my loyal supporters! I was asking for Swigart to serve out the remainder of his 12 year sentence. The Parole Board seemed genuinely concerned about my well-being and definitely took the information I shared with them into consideration. Swigart faced the same board today (Feb. 15) at Northpoint Training Center in Burgin, Kentucky, where he is serving his sentence. After a quick deliberation, the board informed him that his parole was being denied and gave him a 2 year deferment (which was the maximum they were able to issue, based on current laws).
I am deeply indebted to all of the supporters who signed my petition! I would also like to thank The Kentucky Parole Board for sending a strong message that Kentucky's victims do matter! Also, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to ALDF for rallying so many participants for my petition and generating awareness of my story! Today's victory for animal rights and women's rights can be attributed to all of you!
I set up a Facebook page dedicated to my cause and in memory of Mr. Frank & Piggy. I will continue to update supporters with any relevant information about my case and advocate for animal rights. I will need your help again in 2 years, when Swigart comes up for parole! I invite you to connect with me on Facebook.
I would like to close with a note to my babies...
I am so sorry Frankie and Piggy, for the terrible fear and pain you felt that night when Mommy wasn't home. I would have been there to protect you from that awful man, had I known he was out to hurt us. I miss you so much and cherish the memories we made together for almost 8 years. Mommy has been fighting for justice for your precious lives since you went to the Rainbow Bridge. Your bravery has touched the lives of many people from around the world. I am honored to be your Mom! Rest in peace until we meet again sweet souls, XoXo.