The Lillian woman who filed charges against another woman for stealing and painting her billy goat is speaking out. She said it was all a big misunderstanding and wants charges dropped, however it won’t be that simple.
Erica Farmer was visiting her uncle and cousin who live on Zeena Lane when she said the little goat wandered up. Wanting to show her daughter, Farmer said took the goat and gave it a makeover with nail stickers and a combination of colored shampoo and food coloring. She said she brought it back the following day, Sunday, February 28, 2021 with little concern over the colored hair, calling it just a prank. Later that day, Baldwin County Sheriff’s deputies arrested her, charging her with theft of property and animal cruelty.
The goat’s owner, Natasha Harris had called the deputies. Harris said she was concerned Saturday night when she got home, and the goat was gone. Haris, who also lives on Zeena Lane admitted the goat roams around the rural neighborhood freely. When Sunday morning came, she found the goat safely home but painted from head to toe. She said a friend called her and showed her a Snapchat photo of her painted pet which had been posted and shared multiple times. Along with it was a caption leading her to believe some teenagers had stolen, abused and spray-painted her goat.
“I thought kids held down my goat and they was mean to him. That’s all I could think about,” Harris said
That’s when Harris said she called the law and the wheels of justice began to turn. An investigation led deputies to Erica Farmer. Once Harris saw the story Farmer’s arrest on the news, she said she realized she hadn’t had all the facts when she called the Sheriff’s Office and reached out to Farmer.
“I told her I was sorry, and I’d do anything to help her get the charges off of her,” Harris explained. “Now I know my goat was just died and there was no harm. He’s fine. He’s running around.”
The goat, affectionately named Billy The Kid was born on Christmas Eve. He was carefree and oblivious to all the hubbub surrounding his weekend excursion and new hairdo when we caught up with him. After Fox 10 News aired the story of the goat’s abduction and the ensuing arrest, Harris reached out to us also, wanting to set the record straight. She showed us that her granddaughter’s pet goat was doing well although some of the blue paint had yet to wear off.
“I mean, Easter’s coming up. He can be an Easter Bunny. There you go…Easter Billy,” Harris said.
The big question now is, “What does this mean for Erica Farmer?” She said she’s apologized to Harris and the two are now friends. Considering the new developments, she hopes the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office will consider dropping the case against her.
“I’m really sorry for wasting your time and I really hope you’ll see that this was a misunderstanding and drop the case please,” Farmer said, hoping someone in the District Attorney’s Office might hear her plea.
Currently, Erica Farmer is charged with animal cruelty and theft of property. Theft of livestock in Alabama carries with it a felony charge. District Attorney, Bob Wilters told Fox 10 News that even if Harris chooses not to pursue the charges, his office has an obligation to look at all the facts of this case before deciding whether or not to move forward with prosecution.
Farmer said she intends to request a preliminary hearing where she also hopes to address a condition of her bond which she said is hard to bear. For the time being, she’s not supposed to be in contact with any animals, including her own dog.