Vikki Rene Kittles (also known as Susan Dietrich, Rene Depenbrock, and Lynn Zellan), 40, told Stafford during a hearing on the misdemeanor animal abuse charges that she had problems being represented by the Public Defender`s Office, and said, "I`m having a problem with you as well."
She also filed several motions on her own behalf, one seeking a written explanation why she needed a psychological evaluation, and others asserting her rights to counsel and to being present at all hearings.
Kittles was arrested in May 1985 on charges of keeping two horses, three cats and 37 dogs in her Wilton Manors home. She also faces the assault felony charge for threatening a neighbor with a gun, police said.
Stafford said he had planned to consolidate the charges so Kittles would be represented by one lawyer in one courtroom.
But after hearing her concerns, Stafford appointed Bernard Canarick, a Plantation lawyer, to represent Kittles on the misdemeanor charges.
The felony charge, scheduled before Circuit Judge Russell Seay, will be heard separately.
Stafford also removed himself from the abuse case, saying that "everybody is entitled to one change." A different County Court judge will hear the case.
Meanwhile, Broward Sheriff`s Detective Sandy Wise said the office continued to search for Kittles` mother, Jean Sullivan, who is in her 70s.
Wise said authorities do not know what happened to Sullivan because she left Broward County in 1985 when Kittles fled after being arrested on the charges of keeping the animals in her home. Kittles never showed up for a court hearing on those charges.
Broward deputies launched a search after a missing persons report was filed on Sept. 19 by a private investigator hired by Sullivan`s daughter-in-law.
Kittles was arrested on Sept. 4 by Manatee County sheriff`s deputies on a warrant issued by Broward authorities. She was living in a van in Ellenton, a small town near Bradenton, with about 40 cats and dogs. Sullivan was not with her.
Law enforcement officials are concerned because Kittles` neighbors in Manatee County reported seeing an elderly woman at Kittles` home in February, Wise said.
Kittles "wouldn`t say anything about her mother," Wise said.
(Sun Sentinel - October 6, 1987)