Scottsdale man accused in animal cruelty case arrested in Alabama

Feb 21, 2024, 3:00 PM

Lester Paul Richmond was arrested in Alabama on Feb. 16, 2024, on animal cruelty charges. (Pike Cou...

Lester Paul Richmond was arrested in Alabama on Feb. 16, 2024, on animal cruelty charges. (Pike County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Pike County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX — A Scottsdale man accused in an animal cruelty case was arrested Friday in Alabama, authorities said.

Lester Paul Richmond, 36, was initially arrested in July after he was linked to the discarding of a dead dog that was found its mouth taped shut in an alley near Miller Road and Latham Street a month prior.

Richmond was subsequently released when the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office sent the case back to the Scottsdale Police Department for more investigation.

Authorities attempted to arrest Richmond after the case was referred back to MCAO in December, but he wasn’t able to be located.

Richmond was arrested in Troy, Alabama, and is expected to be extradited to Arizona within the next 30 days.

“My office is grateful to the Scottsdale Police Department, the public and the Troy Police Department for their efforts in bringing this defendant to justice,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a press release.

What happened in the Scottsdale animal cruelty case?

Richmond was one of two suspects arrested in the case. Heather Auditor, 32, and Richmond were arrested following a traffic stop.

Detectives then executed a search warrant for their residence, where they found additional evidence.

The incident is said to have occurred June 27 when the body of the puppy was found by a pedestrian. According to authorities, an “extensive” investigation took place throughout the neighborhood, including looking at surveillance cameras in the area.

In addition to discovering surveillance video showing Richmond’s vehicle in the alley during the time the puppy was left there, investigators were able to obtain video of the two suspects talking about getting rid of the puppy.

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Scottsdale man accused in animal cruelty case arrested in Alabama