Northern Virginia

Woman Accused of Sacrificing Chickens Can't Have Seized Rooster Back, Judge Says

A Northern Virginia woman who was arrested for sacrificing as many as 12 to 15 chickens each week in her townhome will not get a rooster that was seized back, the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office confirmed. 

Mercy Carrion appealed to regain custody of the rooster last week, but a judge denied her request, according to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, which first reported the story.

Carrion was arrested May 5 after a confidential informant working with Animal Control officers witnessed her slaughtering the chickens in her Sterling, Virginia, home. 

The informant told authorities that Carrion would carry out the sacrifices on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of each week.

In some instances - while the chickens were still alive, Carrion would bury the chickens in the back yard, or burn them.

The Times-Mirror reported that Animal Control officers saw blood spatter on the walls of Carrion's living room.

But officers did find one rooster that was still alive. The rooster was taken to the Loudoun County Animal Shelter and has a family that is ready to adopt it, the Loudoun Times-Mirror reports. 

On Wednesday, a judge ordered that Carrion cover the cost of rooster's care while it's at the shelter. But since this is her first offense, Carrion is allowed to own more animals. 

Carrion is scheduled to appear in court this week for a hearing related to the animal cruelty case. Carrion is facing three misdemeanor counts of cruelty to animals, the Times-Mirror reported.

Authorities believe the sacrifice was part of a religious offering.

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