January trial date for Mickey Joel Paulk postponed until February
The trial for Limestone County resident, 39-year-old Mickey Joel Paulk, who has been accused of keeping a squirrel doped up on methamphetamine to attack people, has been delayed.
According to court documents, Paulk’s trial was scheduled for Monday. It has now been continued until February 28 at 1:30 pm.
The charges against Paulk include possession of a wild animal, possession of stolen property, and possession of a weapon by a felon that stem from a June 17, 2019 drug raid on his home. Meth, ammunition, and body armor were found by deputies during the raid on his home.
Paulk was not at home at the time of the raid, but another man was arrested. WBRC reported that Ronnie Reynolds, who was allegedly found in the Athens apartment rented by Paulk, was arrested during the raid. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and loitering at a known drug house.
It was at this time that officers located the allegedly meth-addled squirrel they had been warned about before their raid. Police were told by an informant that the squirrel was routinely fed meth by Paulk to maintain an elevated level of aggression in the animal. The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) released it from its cage to return to the wild.
According to a statement made by former Sheriff Mike Blakely of the LCSO on June 18, 2019, his department had determined there was no safe means to test the squirrel for methamphetamines. The release was made per a recommendation from the Alabama Department of Conservation. The squirrel, named “Deeznuts,” immediately became famous after his discovery was revealed.
Paulk was taken into custody on June 28, 2019, after a brief pursuit. He was booked into the Lauderdale County jail on charges of attempting to elude police, criminal mischief, and being a felon in possession of a pistol.
Paulk released a video of a squirrel the day after his arrest, claiming it was the same one that deputies released and denying that he had ever forced drugs on the creature. While he admitted the squirrel could be mean and had bit some people, he denies it is anything more than the animal’s nature. Regardless of whether he gave the animal drugs, it is illegal to keep a wild animal in Alabama.
Per al.com, the added charges in his case are based on a December 23, 2021, arrest for chemical endangerment of a child and trafficking methamphetamine. There are also additional drug and weapons charges in that case. Court records show that Paulk was indicted back in June 2021 for the chemical endangerment charge and earlier in January on the trafficking charge.