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NY Man Digs Up Dead Chinchilla, Sends Pics to Owner

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on May 09, 2012 9:47 AM

Raymond Williams dug up a pet chinchilla. A dead one, that is.

The 20-year-old apparently spent part of Sunday digging up the deceased pet before taking photos and texting them to its owner. The pair, whose relationship is unknown, had gotten into a dispute the day before. He's accused of stealing $260 from her after he failed to steal her cell phone.

The dead chinchilla pictures are presumed to be related to this incident.

Officers also believe that he dug up the pet chinchilla for the sole purpose of snapping a photo, reports Fox News. He presumably knew this would bother the woman, as the domesticated rodent died only three weeks ago.

Unfortunately, dead animals receive little to no protection under the law. It's a major crime to dig up a grave, but to dig up a chinchilla? Probably little more than misdemeanor property damage.

However, if you then send photos of the dead pet to its owner, you may have committed a more serious crime. Raymond Williams himself is facing aggravated harassment and harassment charges, according to the Daily Freeman. New York law makes it illegal to communicate with a person in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm if done with the intent to harass them.

Digging up a dead chinchilla and texting photos of it kind of fits this definition, no?

Nonetheless, Raymond Williams has yet to be charged. He is currently being held in a psychiatric facility while he awaits evaluation. Prosecutors may decide not to press charges if he is found to be suffering from some sort of mental illness.

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