Seattle, Washington – A senior dog named Alice was fatally kicked on May 31 by a 29-year-old man named Courtney Williams. The cruel and deadly incident happened in Seattle, Washington’s, Pioneer Square neighborhood after Williams demanded that Alice’s owner give him his coat. When the man refused, Williams kicked Alice so hard that she flew into the air and died moments later in her owner’s arms.
This is a sickening act of cruelty that must not go unpunished! Courtney Williams is charged with first-degree animal cruelty and first-degree attempted theft, and he must receive the maximum punishment for each charge. Please add your name to the petition as we push court officials to throw the book at this man.
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!
Court is scheduled for June 17.
Individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Final update 10/22/2021: Animal Victory has learned that Courtney Williams was sentenced on October 15 to eight months in the county jail by Judge Brian McDonald. K. Carolyn Ramamurti, the attorney for this case, tells Animal Victory that the prosecutor had recommended three months in jail with credit for time served, but Judge McDonald sentenced Williams to more time because of the petition, and letters/emails from individuals who were following this case and fighting for justice. Attorney Ramamurti tells Animal Victory that there was also an order prohibiting Mr. Williams from possessing or living with an animal for the rest of his life, some miscellaneous “mandatory minimum” financial penalties and restitution. Though Animal Victory is not elated with the sentencing, we are pleased to know that the petition played a part in getting Williams more time behind bars and we thank each and every person who took the time to sign, and comment, to help make this outcome possible.
Update 9/16/2021: Animal Victory has been in regular contact with the victim’s sister and attorney. We have learned that the defendant was offered a plea deal which diminishes the seriousness of his crime. The King County prosecutor believed that Courtney Williams should only spend three months in jail, instead of 12 months, which would be the maximum sentence. We are petitioning the court to dismiss any plea deals and give Courtney Williams the sentence that he deserves! John Hickey’s attorney has informed Animal Victory that a new judge is being assigned to this case, and a sentencing hearing will soon be scheduled.
Update 8/26/2021: Animal Victory has learned that the outcome of the August court date was a motion for a competency evaluation to be done on 8/30/2021. It is our understanding that how the case proceeds will be determined by the results of the evaluation. We will update the petition when we are able to obtain the results.
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.
The 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.
Prior Signatures 21,766.