The misdemeanor trial of a pastor charged with animal cruelty in the death of a cat drew a crowd of 25 onlookers Monday, overshadowing the Bastrop County commissioners meeting next door.
The defendant, 56-year-old Rick Bartlett, the former pastor of Bastrop Christian Church, was the chaplain for the Bastrop Police Department at the time the cat died. The crowd in the courtroom included Sarah and Eddie Bell — owners of Moody, the dead cat — who are suing Bartlett for damages, and Sheila Smith who heads Shadow Cats, a Central Texas nonprofit cat rescue.
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