OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A Thurston County deputy prosecutor says what was found at an Olympia man's home is the worst case of animal abuse she's ever seen.
David Williford was charged Monday afternoon with 12 counts of animal cruelty for holding dozens of rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and dogs in "horrific" conditions.
Deputy Prosecutor Christen Anton Peters described it in court like a scene from a horror movie, complete with blood spatters, filth and carcasses strewn about Williford's basement and backyard.
Authorities rescued dozens more animals still alive but described as desperate for food and water.
Williford's defense attorney says it was simply an unsanitary slaughterhouse for meat that Williford intended to eat, and has eaten routinely. He allegedly got the animals using Craigslist.
Williford is charged with six counts of first degree animal abuse and six of second degree animal abuse.
At his house just outside of Olympia on Cooper Pointe Road, court records say he kept several dogs upstairs in the attic in cages with absolutely no light, no water, no food, and no warm bedding. When they were rescued, court records say they jumped into the arms of animal control officers.
Peters pulled no punches before a judge in arguing that Williford should continue to be held in custody.
"I've seen many cases of animal cruelty in my career as a prosecutor. This is clearly the most disturbing case that I have ever reviewed," she said.
The director of Thurston County Animal Control is warning people who give away free animals on Craigslist to be careful who gets the animals and to make follow up calls.
Susanne Beauregard says they first got wind of the case when someone came to stay with Williford. When that person threatened to report the abuse to authorities, he says Williford then threatened him. The witness says he fears for his life but reported him anyway.
Peters said her office had extreme concern about the prospect of releasing Williford. But Williford's defense attorney downplayed it.
"It appears to be more slaughtering for food purposes in unsanitary conditions," the attorney said.
Judge Erik Price ordered him held in jail on $150,000 bail.
"The allegations at this point are truly disturbing," Price said.