Gilbert grifters grab for greenbacks
At this point most Arizonans are aware of the disturbing saga* of the dogs who died agonizing heat-related suffocation deaths in a small windowless utility room, sans air conditioning at Green Acre kennel. Nearly two dozen family pets entrusted to the owner’s care suffered excruciating deaths last summer. Todd and MaLeisa Hughes, the kennel owners, were vacationing out of state when the deaths occurred. They left the boarding facility and pets in the care of their daughter and son-in-law Logan and Austin Flake. Austin is the son of Arizona U.S. Senator Jeff Flake.
All four of them have been indicted on felony and misdemeanor charges relating to the June 20 gruesome incident. The indictment charges the Hugheses with 22 felony counts and 7 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, and one felony count of fraudulent schemes and artifices. Austin and Logan Flake are each charged with 21 felony counts and 7 misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals. The pets had neither food nor water in their stomachs, according to the veterinarian who performed necropsies on the dogs. The Flakes did not call for veterinary assistance, opting to hose down the dogs and then callously pile their carcasses in a shed.
The four family members are also charged in a civil lawsuit.
Displaying an abysmal lack of judgment to go with her boorish coarseness MaLeisa Hughes, (news video) and her husband Todd, have now taken to begging for money for their legal defense on a GoFundMe online account. They are seeking $50,000.
*Additional background is available here:
Sept. 29, 2014: Still awaiting Montgomery’s Flake decision
Sept. 19, 2014: Bill Montgomery: Between a Flake and a hard place