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Arrest made in animal cruelty investigation, deputies removing 150 animals from Capitola Road property

Published: Jun. 8, 2021 at 9:40 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 1:50 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - There was a large police presence in the 12000 block of Capitola Road as Leon County Sheriff’s Office deputies removed at least 150 animals from a property after making an arrest in an animal cruelty investigation Tuesday morning.

Multiple callers to the WCTV newsroom Tuesday morning reported seeing at least 20 law enforcement vehicles, as well as blue tents being set up and helicopters flying overhead in the area.

Public Information Officer Shade McMillian says deputies arrested Marion Harmon Tuesday morning after a weeklong investigation with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. The remains and carcasses of several animals were found on the scene, LCSO says.

McMillian says around 150 animals were taken off the property, with many of them suffering emaciation and severe malnutrition.

The animals included sheep, goats, cattle, pigs, turkeys, ducks, guinea pigs, donkeys, mules, peacocks and a horse, LCSO says. Deputies first arrived at the scene around 6:30 a.m.

Harmon faces a total of 57 charges, which break down as follows:

  • Aggravated animal cruelty, torture, inflict pain or serious physical injury/death (34 counts)
  • Animal cruelty, tormenting, depriving, mutilating, killing animals (seven counts)
  • Unlawful disposal of dead animals (16 counts)

LIVE: The Leon County Sheriff's Office is investigating an animal cruelty case on Capitola Road.

Posted by WCTV.tv on Tuesday, June 8, 2021

According to court records, Harmon was arrested in 2019 on four counts of animal cruelty. The probable cause affidavit from Harmon’s 2019 arrest says he left dead livestock on other people’s property. A Florida A&M University spokesperson confirmed to WCTV Harmon was a professor there.

FAMU sent the following statement to WCTV Tuesday night:

According to the Florida A&M University Office of Human Resources, Marion Harmon was employed as a nine-month employee as an assistant visiting professor within the Department of Computer Information Systems until the end of the spring 2021 semester. He is currently employed on an OPS contract that was scheduled to end with the close of the C term on August 2.

Harmon does not have a signed contract to teach this fall. He retired in August 2019 and was re-hired in August 2020.

LCSO asked people to drive slowly if they came to the area, which is near the Leon County-Jefferson County line, Tuesday evening. Deputies worked the scene through the evening

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