Alabama's 85-Year-Old 'Cat Lady' Has 'Not Been Able to Eat' Since Guilty Verdict, Her Lawyer Says
Beverly Roberts, 85, and her friend Mary Alston, 61, have been convicted on charges stemming from their efforts in spaying and neutering stray cats in their city of Wetumpka, Alabama.
Beverly Roberts, an 85-year-old grandmother who was convicted alongside her 61-year-old friend for charges stemming from their efforts in spaying, neutering, and taking care of stray cats in their city of Wetumpka, Alabama, is “very distraught and very upset” since the guilty verdict, her lawyer tells Inside Edition Digital.
“I think today she’s doing better, but she has not been able to get out of bed, she has not been able to eat,” attorney Terry Luck says. “She has been worried about the prosecution and it’s very taxing on her.”
Most importantly, Luck added, "She has been worried about the cats."
Roberts, a decorated, retired army veteran, has cats of her own and has never previously been in trouble with the law, Luck said.
She was found guilty of criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct, while her co-defendant and longtime friend Mary Alston, 61, was found guilty of criminal trespassing and interfering with governmental operations, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
They were sentenced to two years of unsupervised probation and 10 days in jail, the outlet reported. However, the jail sentence was suspended, meaning neither of them will serve time behind bars, the Associated Press reported.
Roberts and Alston were both also ordered to pay $100 in fines, plus court fees.
Alston had been sitting her in her car in a publicly owned vacant lot on June 25 when she was approached by authorities, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.
Roberts arrived to the scene shortly after, and the pair told authorities that it’s not illegal to feed cats when they were asked to leave, bodycam footage showed.
Both women had been known to local authorities and politicians for feeding and trapping stray cats. The pair would take the cats to be neutered and spayed before returning them to the area they were taken from, or putting them up for adoption, according to the Montgomery Advertiser.
Luck says that Roberts was often vocal in her community, advocating for animal rights, reporting dogs being treated poorly, and speaking up against animal cruelty.
Roberts and Alston were eventually handcuffed and arrested during the June encounter, according to bodycam footage.
“You guys are unbelievable,” Roberts told officers at the time of arrest, according to the footage. “This is what you are wasting city gas on.”
Luck and Alston’s attorney William Shashy argued during the bench trial that the trespassing charges were not valid because feeding cats is not illegal, and therefore, is not an element of trespass.
Prosecutors, however, argued that the pair had been making the problem worse by feeding the feral cats, which attracted other animals that would then damage cars in the county-owned parking lot. They also said they had been asked to leave before, and asked not to feed the cats, Luck says.
Roberts and Alston, however, returned since “feeding cats is not illegal,” Luck tells Inside Edition Digital.
Their attorneys now intend to appeal the verdict.
Trending on Inside Edition
Brian Walshe Charged With Murder of Wife Ana Walshe, Missing Massachusetts Mom of 3 Last Seen in DecemberCrime
Murder Suspect Bryan Kohberger Messaged University of Idaho Victim Multiple Times Prior to Her Death: ReportCrime
Missing 4-Year-Old Athena Brownfield Was Beaten to Death on Christmas Day by Male Caretaker, Authorities SayCrime
Lisa Marie Presley Died Deep in Debt, Left Graceland to Daughter Riley KeoughEntertainment
Miss USA R’Bonney Gabrie Shows Off Her NYC Apartment After Being Crowned Miss UniverseEntertainment
'Cult Mom' Lori Vallow 'Participated in Killing of Her Children' and Should Face Death Penalty: ProsecutorsCrime