Exclusive interview with former puppy mill manager David Becker
David Becker, the former Waimanalo puppy farm manager, says he was the fall guy and maintains his innocence. He also thanks the judge that set him free.
David Becker plead no contest to 153 counts of second degree animal cruelty and was later found guilty on all counts. Today he is a free man with many saying he walked away without just punishment.
"Last night I couldn't believe how it all turned. I thought everyone was against me on this," said David Becker.
Nearly two years after the Waimanalo puppy mill raid he maintains his innocence.
"I was just a worker. Every morning I was told what to do. I kept asking why am I alone, why isn't anyone mentioning their name? But nobody mentioned their name," said Becker.
He is referring to the Luke family, who owned the farm and financed the business. Becker says without them there are no animals, business or breeding. But prosecutors said there wasn't enough evidence on them.
"They wanted to try this case but wouldn't let me do anything to get anybody on my side who could show what was happening. Everything was so fabricated out there it was unbelievable," said Becker.
He says he worked on the farm for one year and says the conditions were worse before he arrived.
"I thought maybe I could help these dogs but I made a mistake. Here I thought I was helping and I get accused of doing something bad," said Becker.
Judge Glenn Kim sentenced him to six months in prison. Becker had been behind bars since June so he was released time served. and didn't make him pay any fines or restitution which upset prosecutors.
"What occurred yesterday was a travesty of justice," said Keith Kaneshiro, Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney. "What is more disturbing is that the court is setting a community standard that animal cruelty is an offense for which no one will be held accountable."
"Maybe he should worry about all the drug problems we have here. I saw so many kids come into the OCCC (Oahu Community Correctional Center) with drug problems and no way to get them any help," said Becker.
As for what's next for Becker? Will he stay in Hawaii?
"I haven't decided yet. I need to take a couple days and try to get my life in order. I mean I have six months of my life that was just stopped," said Becker.
He does say he will not breed animals or do anything in the animal industry. But he hasn't ruled out pets.
"I was thinking about getting two dogs and calling them Jake and Elwood," said Becker.
Until then he'll keep singing the Blues.
David Becker also prepared the following written statement:
"I would like to thank Judge Kim for taking the time to really understand this case and for the fairness and understanding he showed in handing out my sentence. There may be some people in the community that do not agree with it, but I would urge anyone who feels that way to read the complete text of Judge Kim's sentencing statement. I think they will then better understand."
"Mostly, though, I would like to take this opportunity to ask the people of Hawaii to take a look at a type of cruelty that is happening here and that is the tragedy of the young people that pass in and out of OCCC in an endless cycle of drugs. Nothing is being done to help them. These kids need help and they are not getting it. Instead, they are continuously in and out of jail. The story, of course, is that there is no money. But if they have hundreds of thousands of dollars to prosecute me on misdemeanor charges, I cannot help but think about how many kids that might have been helped, if put to better use."
Copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.