The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

October 12, 2013

Accused kitten killer out on bond; neighbors worried

Neighbors of a man who said he bought, named and killed kittens inside his home because he was “angry at the world” wonder why he was released on bail an hour after his arrest Thursday.

The fact that he was allowed to post bail is not unusual. Those accused of crimes under the criminal justice system are considered innocent until proven guilty and usually allowed to post bail.

Ronald “Fraser” Golden, 48, of 106 Bullington Road in Athens, was released about 2:30 p.m. after his mother, Virginia, arranged for his $22,000 bail, records show.

Golden did not answer a knock on his door for comment Friday.

If convicted, Golden faces a sentence of one year and one day on each of the Class C felony counts.

Neighbors

Reaction from neighbors ranged from surprise that the alleged crime occurred in their neighborhood to displeasure that Golden was released on bail.

“He did not need to be let free,” said Judy Thomas, who lives on Paddock Court near Golden. She said she is worried about children and her two dogs. “There are other animals in the subdivision, and Cowart Elementary School right across the street.”

The U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment-ban on “excessive bail” has been interpreted by the federal courts to mean a person has the right to be freed on bail except in cases of capital murder of a human.

That does not lessen the concern for Thomas.

“To have a room where he killed kittens and there was blood splattered all over … and because he was mad at the world,” she said. “We’re lucky it wasn’t a child.”

Both Thomas and her brother, Mickey Sutton, who was visiting her Friday, said they believe Golden should have been ordered to undergo a mental evaluation before being released. However, before his arrest Thursday, Golden had been held about 11 days at Decatur Morgan Hospital West psychiatric facility for evaluation, records show. A mental health officer issued a hold on Golden Sept. 30 and Golden’s mother signed commitment papers to extended the hold. On Oct. 3, the court ordered Golden to undergo an evaluation. He was released after a hearing Thursday, at which time police arrested him on the charges. There was not sufficient evidence to meet the law’s requirement for in-patient commitment.

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