Etowah County veterinarian Jerry Handley was released on bond, on Friday afternoon from the Etowah County Jail and was transported by sheriff’s deputies to a mental health treatment facility, Mountain View Hospital, as ordered by District Judge William Russell.
Russell had ruled against lowering Handley’s $100,000 bond.
Handley was charged with 2nd Degree Arson, along with seven felony counts of Cruelty to Animals in connection with the fire which he allegedly set at his own animal clinic, on Highway 411, back on April 24th. He was also charged with Filing a False Report to law enforcement officials.
In his bond ruling, Judge Russell included provisions that Handley must seek medical treatment if released on bond and he also placed limitations on his travel.
He further stated that Handley should not have a gun or knife in his possession.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin said that Handley had admitted to staging the burglary and also pouring gasoline throughout the clinic, however he has yet to provide a motive to investigators.