BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A trial date has been set for a former Rogers police officer charged with felony animal cruelty in connection with the death of three dogs at her home.

Jerri Beyard, 39, will appear for her trial in Benton County Circuit Court on March 14, 2023. She is facing aggravated animal cruelty charges after investigators discovered the bodies of three “extremely decomposed” dead dogs at her residence, where she allegedly left them without food or water for several months.

In a non-custodial interview with police on May 10, Beyard admitted to abandoning the dogs. On May 23, a spokesperson for the Rogers Police Department confirmed that she is no longer employed by the RPD.

A criminal information sheet filed by Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Gean on July 15 charged her with aggravated animal cruelty, stating, “To Wit: On and between, September 2021 and May 2022, the Defendant did knowingly torture three dogs when she abandoned them in a house, and did not give them any food or water, until the dogs eventually died.”

On May 24, Jay Saxton, her court-appointed public defender, submitted a filing to the court noting that it had been “determined in reviewing the facts that a conflict with the representation of the Defendant, Jerri Michelle Beyard, exists under Arkansas Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.7(a).” A different attorney was appointed for her on June 27.

Beyard has entered a plea of not guilty. She has a pretrial court appearance scheduled for March 13, 2023.