Shelby Cormane finally went to the City of Sacramento animal shelter to pick up the ashes of her little dog Bailey; her former boyfriend was convicted last year of kicking Bailey to death and drowning another dog in a washing machine.
At that time Cormane’s emotions were running high and her funds were running low, so she was grateful to Stan Lawlor of Koefran Services for Pets for offering to cremate the Pomeranian at no charge. This week she picked up the engraved urn at the City shelter and was finally ready to talk about what happened.
In March of 2010 Cormane was reeling from the suicide of a young family friend and was shocked when Ramon King Jr. called her to say that he had killed her dog.
Even a year and a half after it happened, Cormane can still replay that phone call in her head. She says his voice was emotionless and he gave the impression that he thought “it would all be okay as long as he told me the truth”.
Cormane says that she was crying when she asked him “How can you kick a little 5-pound dog?” King responded blithely that he had kicked the dog before and nothing had happened.
King eventually pled guilty to two counts of felony animal abuse for killing Bailey and for the separate incidence when he drowned the other small dog in his washing machine. He is serving a prison sentence of two years and eight months.
In the flood of television and print coverage about the two dogs being killed and about his conviction, virtually all of the reports mentioned that King was in the National Guard and “had never been in trouble”.
According to Cormane and investigators on the case, trouble actually followed King everywhere.
Although King reportedly bragged to one investigator about serving in Iraq, a spokesman for the National Guard said that King had never been deployed and was never in Iraq.
Cormane says that King was possessive and confrontational, including starting fights with any man who happened to glance in her direction. When Cormane would try to get him to stop, King would turn on her and start screaming accusations that she must be involved with the man who looked at her.
Ramon King’s mother reportedly knew something was wrong and repeatedly asked him to get tested for a psychiatric bipolar disorder. Cormane says that he never considered being tested; King told her that the problem lay with everyone else instead of with him because “people are all f—ed up”.
In addition to having serious road rage, Cormane says King began to get physically violent with her. Like so many other victims of domestic violence, Cormane always believed his subsequence apologies and promises to be better. Now a year and a half older and wiser, Cormane says she will never get in that kind of situation again.
Several years into their off-again on-again relationship, Cormane became pregnant with son Elijah. King was not interested or involved initially, but when Elijah was about one-year-old he said he wanted to be part of the child’s life. During their brief subsequent interactions Elijah never seemed to bond with or trust him; this helped make King’s absence a non-issue when he was sent to prison for killing the two dogs.
King’s tendency for causing trouble continued even after being charged for animal cruelty. Before being convicted or sentenced in that case, King reportedly attempted to strangle another woman that he had been dating.
Cormane says that she and Elijah, a sweet boy with curly black hair and dimples, would love to get another dog. A friend’s mother recently rescued a small pit bull mix and they both immediately fell in love with it. But Cormane, who says she has grown a lot since King killed Bailey, says she’ll wait until they have the space and budget to give a dog everything it deserves.
Although Cormane has emerged from the situation both older and wiser, it was a really tough way to get an education.
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