Puppy scammer in court again

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Convicted puppy scammer Monica Arnold is back in the doghouse.

Sentenced in 2004-under the name Monica Binkley-to three and a half years in jail after a dog-selling scam that reached the national spotlight, charges of assault and battery of a law enforcement officer were certified Tuesday against Arnold in Suffolk General District Court.

On the night of April 5, Western Tidewater Regional Jail officer Shannon Meyers testified that she passed by Arnold’s cell doing a head count, and noticed that the inmate had placed several articles of clothing, such as socks, boxer shorts and T-shirts, on her cell-door.

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&uot;I told her to take them down,&uot; said Meyers, who said that putting such items on a door is against the jail’s rules.

Meyers continued that she went upstairs, then came back down to find Arnold sitting on her bunk, flipping through a rule book, with the items still on her door.

Arnold said that the book didn’t have such a rule, Meyers said. The officer testified that she reached through the door to remove the items, when Arnold grabbed her wrist and banged it against the bars.

Meyers left and went to booking, where her bruised arm was photographed. She said that there were four bruises, and &uot;a couple were nickel-sized, and some were bigger.&uot;

On cross-examination, Mey-ers, who still works at the jail, testified that Arnold had been written up in the past for several unspecified rule violations.

Arnold, wearing the jail’s typical orange jumpsuit, didn’t speak during the hearing, only leaning on the table near Judge James Moore, scowling at Meyers.

The charges will go to the grand jury when it convenes June 22, at which time Arnold’s expected to be indicted. The charges are a Class 6 felony, which carries a sentencing range of between six months and five years.

In December 2003, Arnold fled to Texas with a U-Haul trailer filled with more than 50 puppies. In some cases, she told buyers that the dogs were AKC registered when they were not, accepted money in advance, and never delivered.

As part of a plea bargain, she was convicted of obtaining money under false pretenses in connection with the dog sales, felony worthless check, child abduction and felony child neglect.

The abduction and neglect charges stemmed from taking her daughter with her to Texas, without the father’s consent and/or court approval and her alleged negligence of her daughter’s medical condition (the young girl has arthritis and requires shots).