BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A former Rogers police officer has been arrested and is facing felony animal cruelty charges after multiple dead dogs were found in her home.
According to a probable cause filing submitted in the Circuit Court of Benton County, Rogers police responded to the 1200 block of W. Linda Lane in reference to an animal complaint on Saturday, May 7. On arrival, an officer contacted the property manager, who told investigators that he had gone to the property to check on the house because he believed the tenant had abandoned the property due to being several months behind on rent.
The manager advised officers that the tenant was Jerri Michelle Beyard, 39, who he believed to be a Rogers Police Officer. The filing notes that Beyard was no longer an officer with the PD, but was employed by the department “in a civilian capacity.”
On May 23, a spokesperson for the department confirmed that Beyard is no longer employed there.
The property manager informed officers that he had not been in contact with Beyard since January and that when he entered the property he discovered two dead dogs inside. The responding officer spoke to neighbors who also had not seen Beyard at all for the past four months.
The property manager led the officer to the scene, where the dogs’ bodies were “extremely decomposed.” A detective that returned to the scene two days later discovered a third dead dog that was locked in a cage.
A Rogers Police Sergeant conducted a “non-custodial” interview with Beyard on May 10. She admitted to abandoning her three dogs in the residence “without food or water from September 2021 until the discovery of their bodies on May 7, 2022.”
When an investigator asked her if she had considered going back to get the dogs, even after they were dead, she responded by saying that “she did not want to think about it at all.”
She was arrested on May 19 and is facing three counts of aggravated cruelty to a dog, cat, or equine, a class D felony. She was booked into the Benton County Detention Center and released on a $15,000 cash bond.
She has an appearance scheduled in the Benton County Circuit Court, Division 2, on June 27. She has filed an order of indigency and requested a public defender.