The Austin County Sheriff’s Office has stated on their Facebook page that news media is making “fabricated suppositions” in the case of Kristen Lindsey, who allegedly posted a photo to Facebook last week that has enraged cat lovers on a global scale.
“I’ve had people calling me from all over the country expressing their concern. I just want everybody to know several things. We can’t arrest and charge someone like that based on a picture on the internet. We have to make sure that is true and correct. Anybody can take a computer and alter a photograph.”
The Austin County Sheriff’s Office would like to clear up any misunderstanding that has been caused by news media misrepresentation saying no charges will be filed against Ms. Lindsey.
Sheriff Brandes confirmed that the sheriff’s office will not be posting what steps have been taken in this investigation on social media. A number of deputies are now assigned to the case, and they are doing their job.
Once all of the reports are completed, the entire file will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office for review. From there it will most likely go to the next session of the Grand Jury, where it will be decided whether or not to return a true bill (indictment). If an indictment is returned, then an arrest warrant will be issued for the person(s) involved in this case.
At that point the person(s) will be arrested, brought to jail, and bond will be set. At this point the District Attorney will set a date for trial. Sheriff Brandes went on to add
“The Sheriff is not the prosecutor. In regards to Kristen Lindsey coming in with her attorney: In the US, when a person who is suspected of an offense invokes their rights under Miranda, they cannot be spoken with, or questioned in any manner without the presence of their attorney. They also have the absolute right not to say anything.
Whether or not search warrants have been issued and executed – or subpoenas have been served, that information is for the court system to view – not Facebook. We firmly believe in the rights of everyone and will uphold the justice system in the manner described in the law.
We realize that a fervor exists in this case, however we will do our part in the proper, legal, and ethical manner in order to provide the court system with all information and evidence it needs.
Thank you all for your participation.”
While it is difficult to do so, we all must wait as these investigators do what they’re trained to do.
News media tends to copy off of other news media. If information is incorrect on one report, many will copy it, as affiliates from around the country tend to feed off of others in their immediate network. The same goes for online and newspaper media. A wrong report can snowball to the point it doesn’t even sound like the same story as the original.
The latest update by the Austin County Sheriff’s Office came late Sunday evening saying
“Reports being made by some news organizations concerning non-prosecution, are, to say the least, fabricated suppositions created by the “sound bite” method of television journalism. Sheriff Brandes has been open and candid in every interview he’s granted. While those interviews can take over 20 minutes, the news media shows only the three seconds of what they consider newsworthy for their purposes. We stand by our statement made earlier today.”
It would be best to not believe everything you read about this troubling case when there is no proof to back it up. As an investigative reporter, I refuse to write that no charges will be made against Ms. Lindsey for killing a family pet, because charges may be made. Or they may not. To determine anything and form a conclusion before the sheriff has even sat down with Lindsey and her attorney is poor journalism.