Judge Thomas Evans III has ruled a former Roane County lawyer, Kathy Arnold, 47, is competent to stand trial on multiple charges related to animal starvation and abuse. She is charged with 16 counts of animal cruelty. Her whereabouts are currently unknown, according to her attorney Christine Hedges.

Mental health evaluations were ordered after the woman reportedly attempted suicide following a verdict rendered against her husband, Eric Arnold. He was charged with the same offenses.

Arnold's psychiatrist gave testimony she was unable to stand trial.

A psychologist who gave testimony regarding the case said Ms. Arnold attended the interview with her "support cat," although other experts have declared her competent to stand trial.

The Times-Record and Roane County Reporter said reports indicated she had four suicide attempts. They also said a report said she was the owner of 58 cats.

Attorney Hedges has requested another hearing regarding her mental status with Judge Evans.

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