Nurse Accused of Killing Neighbor’s Pregnant Dog and Cats

A nurse accused of killing a neighbor’s pets by poisoning faces severe animal cruelty charges after alleged actions against the animals. 

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office Agricultural Crimes Unit detained Knighten, a licensed practical nurse employed at Wellmed in Lakeland by United Health Care, on three counts of felony animal cruelty and one count of depositing poison in a public area.

Investigations implicated 51-year-old Tamesha Knighten in the deliberate poisoning of her neighbors’ two cats, Luna and Pancake, and a pregnant Chihuahua named Daisy, resulting in the tragic demise of all three pets along with the unborn eight puppies in the dog’s womb. 

Disturbing symptoms exhibited by the animals included choking, difficulty breathing, foaming from the mouth, and evident distress before their untimely deaths.

The distressing ordeal unfolded in August when Luna and Pancake perished in quick succession, displaying alarming symptoms. 

Shortly after, the couple discovered Daisy’s lifeless body along with her unborn puppies, leading to a heartbreaking discovery within their premises.

During the investigation, the victims revealed Knighten’s repeated threats of poisoning their pets if they wandered into her yard. 

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Nurse’s Inconsistent Statements Raise Suspicions

nurse-accused-killing-neighbor-pregnant-dog-cats
A nurse accused of killing a neighbor’s pets by poisoning faces severe animal cruelty charges after alleged actions against the animals.

Suspicion heightened as witnesses spotted Knighten pacing along the shared fence line on the fateful day of the pets’ demise.

Further confrontation occurred when Knighten allegedly shouted at the victims’ children while they played outside, prompting the couple to intervene. 

As the tragedy unfolded, Knighten provided conflicting explanations, initially attributing the cat’s symptoms to choking on a frog.

Knighten’s inconsistent statements compounded suspicion, especially when detectives discovered a foam bowl containing a suspicious substance in the victims’ yard, contradictory to Knighten’s initial claims of not owning such containers.

Video evidence from Knighten’s property depicted her wearing a blue glove, holding a similar foam bowl, and gesturing toward the neighbor’s yard, fueling the mounting evidence against her. 

Despite her assertions of innocence and ignorance regarding the contents of the bowl, forensic analysis corroborated the presence of phorate, a pesticide used in insecticides, consistent with the substance laced in the canned chicken found in the bowl.

Sheriff Grady Judd condemned Knighten’s actions, highlighting the distressing loss endured by the pet owners and emphasizing the severity of her actions. 

Knighten, despite her denials and medical profession, now faces imprisonment following her arrest and booking into the Polk County Jail.

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