Santa Barbara- S County

Accused Cat Killer, Burglar Appears in Santa Maria Court

Nellie Palacios charged with animal cruelty in alleged burglary of ex-boyfriend's Orcutt home

Accused Cat Killer, Burglar Appears in Santa Maria Court

SANTA MARIA, Calif. - 43-year-old Nellie Marie Palacios entered Santa Maria Superior Court Friday charged with felony animal cruelty, burglary and other related charges.

The charges stem from Palacios' alleged bizarre behavior at her ex-boyfriend's home in on Hummel Drive in Orcutt earlier this month.

Court documents reveal the boyfriend called 911 to report Palacios was taking items from his home without his consent and putting them in her car.

Investigators allege at least one witness saw Palacios use a large kitchen knife to kill a cat at the home during the ordeal.

Palacios reportedly told arresting Santa Barbara County Sheriff's deputies she was defending herself against the cat she claims physically attacked her.

In court on Friday,  it was revealed Palacios stopped taking prescribed medication for psychological disorders at the time of the alleged burglary and cat killing.

The court-appointed psychologist told the judge its better to keep Palacios locked up in County Jail so she remains on her required medication.

"Now that she's in custody her medications have been changed quite significantly", Dr. Jerry Lockhart told the judge, "especially if she is released today it wouldn't be possible to ensure that she would get the same medication that she is receiving in custody."

The judge denied a request to release Palacios who did not enter a plea to the charges against her.

She remains in county jail and will return to Santa Maria Court next week.

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