Makaha woman faces charges in beating death of peacock
POSTED: Saturday, May 23, 2009
City prosecutors charged a Makaha woman yesterday with second-degree cruelty to animals for allegedly beating a peacock to death Sunday with a baseball bat.
A date will be set for Sandra Maloney, a resident of Makaha Valley Towers, to appear in Waianae District Court on the charge, a misdemeanor offense. If convicted, Maloney faces a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.
The prosecutor's office was flooded with phone calls and e-mails from people appalled at the attack, Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle said yesterday at a news conference. Prosecutors plan to vigorously pursue the case, he said.
"They're beautiful animals and deserve to be protected," said Carlisle, who noted that a felony cruelty-to-animals charge could not be filed as the peacock was considered a wild animal, not a pet.
Maloney could not be reached for comment yesterday. Earlier this week she told KITV that she killed the exotic bird.
"I grabbed him by the tail, and I whacked him on the head," said Maloney, claiming sleep deprivation caused by loud screeches from peacocks in the area drove her to kill the bird.
She and her husband have lived at the residential building for five years.
Decisions were made this Friday to charge the Makaha woman who admitted to beating a peacock to death with a bat.
Four people heard and saw Maloney kill the peacock in the picnic table area, according to Ted Pond, board vice president of the condominium owners association. Pond was told by witnesses that Maloney carried the bird up a flight of stairs and threw it into bushes on the side of the stairway.
The bird apparently wandered out of the bushes, slumped for several minutes and attempted to fan its tail. It then rolled down the stairway until it reached the bottom. Pond said it lay there for a couple of minutes before it died.
Eleven peacocks have been killed on the grounds of Makaha Valley Towers and on an adjacent property in the last two months, Pond said. Eight were possibly poisoned, two were either shot with a pellet gun or struck with an ice pick and one was allegedly killed by Maloney.
Pond said he is happy the city took action.
"It's just awful that it happened, and it shouldn't have happened," he said. "I just can't picture anyone would kill a bird like that."
Kawehi Yim, spokeswoman for the Hawaiian Humane Society, commended the prosecutor's office.
"We just hope that it sends a clear message to the community that these kinds of acts will not be tolerated," said Yim.