2 Suspects in Lacey bird killings kept in Jail

Ben Ruset

Administrator
Site Administrator
Oct 12, 2004
7,379
1,229
1,093
42
Eatontown, NJ
www.benruset.com
2 suspects in bird-killings kept in jail



Published in the Asbury Park Press 7/11/03
By A. SCOTT FERGUSON
TOMS RIVER BUREAU
TOMS RIVER -- A state Superior Court judge yesterday ordered that two teenagers accused of killing several exotic birds at a Lacey zoo remain in the Ocean County Jail until they can be transferred to a drug-treatment facility.

After reviewing medical and other reports, Judge Edward J. Turnbach told Matthew Ronneberg and Thomas Cavanaugh, both 18 and from Lacey's Forked River section, that they would pose a danger to the community if they were released without first being given in-patient drug treatment.

"If there is a program that has a bed and is willing to accept you, I can order you released on your own recognizance and have you transferred straight from the jail to the program," Turnbach told the two yesterday. "If you leave or fail to comply with the rules, you will automatically be returned to jail. It's up to you."

Ronneberg and Cavanaugh are jailed in lieu of $114,000 bail each.

They and Matthew Mercuro, also 18, of Waretown, were charged with killing two rheas, three emus and three ducks at the Popcorn Park Zoo on May 19. They're also charged with setting a fire and breaking a church's windows in Manchester on the same day and killing a goose in a county park on May 17.

Earlier this week, Mercuro was released after his parents posted $50,000 bail. He will also attend a drug-treatment program.

After the hearing, Cavanaugh's mother, Cheryl Cavanaugh, said she hoped to have her son in a treatment program in a month's time. She was joined at the hearing by her daughter, Jessica, and Thomas Cavanaugh's fiancee, Desiree Burns.

"He wants to get out, he wants to do more with his life, and he's got a baby coming," Cheryl Cavanaugh said. "We have a nice, close family for him to get support from, and we have faith that it will be all right."

Cheryl and Jessica Cavanaugh both said their lives have been disrupted by what's happened, and they also said that the media has blown the case out of proportion.

Jessica Cavanaugh, 19, said she sometimes gets strange looks from people because of what her brother has been charged with. But other people lend their support, she said.

"At work, they hear on the radio what's going on, but they all come up to me and ask about him and how he's doing," Jessica Cavanaugh said. "They're nice about it."

A. Scott Ferguson: (732) 557-5740 sferguson@app.com
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
22,333
4,258
1,093
3 men who beat birds at zoo given probation

http://wb17.trb.com/news/wphl041604birdsbludgeoned,0,215062.story?coll=wphl-news-1


The Associated Press

April 16, 2004

TOMS RIVER, NJ -- No jail time for three young Ocean County men who beat several exotic birds to death at Popcorn Park Zoo.

A judge today sentenced Matthew Ronneberg, Matthew Mercuro and Thomas Cavanaugh to three years probation for killing the birds last May.

The judge noted each of the three has been undergoing drug and alcohol counseling and noted the law does not require incarceration for such cases.

That greatly disappointed zoo director John Bergemann, who wanted to see them imprisoned.

The 19-year-olds admitted killing three emus, three ducks and two rheas.

Associated Humane Societies executive director Roseann Trezza says the ducks had their eyes gouged out and were still alive when workers found them the next morning.
 

njvike

Explorer
Jul 18, 2003
353
0
16
Sparta, NJ
home.earthlink.net
TeeGate said:
3 men who beat birds at zoo given probation

http://wb17.trb.com/news/wphl041604birdsbludgeoned,0,215062.story?coll=wphl-news-1


The Associated Press

April 16, 2004

TOMS RIVER, NJ -- No jail time for three young Ocean County men who beat several exotic birds to death at Popcorn Park Zoo.

A judge today sentenced Matthew Ronneberg, Matthew Mercuro and Thomas Cavanaugh to three years probation for killing the birds last May.

The judge noted each of the three has been undergoing drug and alcohol counseling and noted the law does not require incarceration for such cases.

That greatly disappointed zoo director John Bergemann, who wanted to see them imprisoned.

The 19-year-olds admitted killing three emus, three ducks and two rheas.

Associated Humane Societies executive director Roseann Trezza says the ducks had their eyes gouged out and were still alive when workers found them the next morning.
I'm sick to my stomach just reading about not only the animals fate but to know that these predators will serve no time.

Disgusting.

What about the other Neanderthal that set the dogs on fire but managed to live? Are they going to buy him an ice cream cone :x
 
B

bach2yoga

Guest
I saw it in the Star Ledger. They were fined app $400 each for Popcorn Park Zoo, and 30 some dollars for the church window, and 4500 for the paintball facility where they burnt the shed.
Apparently the kids started drugs and alcohol at 12 and 13, one kid at 18 was doing 2 bags of heroin a day and the other was drinking 5 shots of vodka a day and a 6 pack of beer.
They have been in drug and alcohol rehab.
The judge was afraid that if he gave them jail time that the time they already spent in jail and the time they have spent inpatient would be counted toward their jail time, and they would wind up free and clear with no one monitoring them on probation afterwards.
That's a sad state of affairs, IMHO.
Renee