Sheriff’s Department: 1 Deputy Killed, 1 Injured in Rancho Cordova

Man Accused of Drowning Dog Appears in Court

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


A man accused of drowning and killing a dog appeared in Sacramento County Court for his preliminary hearing.

William Meek appears in court Feb. 20, 2015.

William Meek appears in court Feb. 20, 2015.

William “Billy” Meek, 47, is charged with felony animal cruelty, after Animal Control officers responded to a deceased dog in the American River on June 15, 2014.

The decomposed and bloated dog was floating in the water. Sacramento County District Attorney Investigator, Steve Wharton was one of four witnesses who took the stand, to recollect the incident.

“Attached to the collar was a leash, and attached to the leash was a bowling ball bag, which contained a large river rock and a bowling ball,” he said.

The contents were later weighed, totaling 31 pounds.

The dog was later found to be owned by Meek’s ex-girlfriend, Mollie Wasmiller. She was another witness on the stand, who admitted her 12-year-old dog, Zelda had some violent tendencies. In fact, that day, Wasmiller had Meek take Zelda to Front Street Animal Shelter to be quarantined for10 days, after she bit her and her friend.

However, Officer John Sorrels, the Front Street Animal Shelter’s Animal Control Officer said that never happened.

“Mr. Meek hadn't been honest with us, and he hadn't been honest with her [Wasmiller] about what he did with the dog,” Officer Sorrels said.

He visited Wasmiller to tell her exactly how they found Zelda. At first, Wasmiller did not believe her then-boyfriend would ever kill Zelda, and made up a story, saying she had given the dog and $20 to a homeless man.

Today, she testified with immunity in exchange for recanting her original false statement.

Wasmiller: “I loved him [Meek] very much. I didn't to believe he would ever do that. And I did not believe it. So basically I was protecting him.”
Attorney: “You lied to cover for him?”
Wasmiller: “Yes, exactly.”
After several hours of witnesses taking to the stand, Meek pleaded “Not Guilty.”

His trial date was set for April 15.