A 25-year-old man facing six counts of animals cruelty waived his rights to a preliminary hearing Thursday in Carter County District Court. Accompanied by his attorney, Edd McNeil, Davis, Eric Anthony Arias appeared before Special District Judge Carson Brooks for a case conference. During the appearance he told Brooks he was relinquishing his right to ask the judge to consider the evidence against him and determine if he should stand trial. The waiver automatically places the case  on the trial docket road. The first stop to a jury’s verdict is scheduled for Wednesday when Arias will be back in the courtroom for formal arraignment.
Arias is accused in all six counts of “…. willfully, maliciously and cruelly injuring, mutilating and burning …” cats belonging to a Tatums family.  
First Assistant District Attorney Heather Cooper filed the charges Dec. 13 based on an investigation conducted by the Carter County Sheriff’s Department. Carter County Sheriff Chris Bryant said the investigation linked a thwarted romance with a family member of the owner of the cats to the brutality against the family pets. Investigators also determined Arias had fled the area following the vicious attacks.
The same day the charges were filed a felony warrant seeking Arias’ arrest was also issued. Within months the CCSD had located the fugitive in Alabama. In April he was returned to Carter County to face the charges.
“I said we would find him and when we did we would go get him.That’s exactly what happened. We found him. We got him extradited. We went and picked him up and brought him back,” Bryant said Saturday.
On April 24, Arias made his initial court appearance before Special District Judge Carson Brooks who set a  $1,000 cash only bond. Arias has remained detained in the Carter County Detention Center since his return pending the posting of bond and/or the outcome of this case.
If convicted of each of the six charges Arias faces a potential penalty of up to $30,000 in fines and/or up to 30 years in a state prison.