Believing his girlfriend of five months engaged in affairs with other men, Rodney Lyn Oglesby worked himself into an October 2005 tizzy. It didn't help that one night after Karen Corbin's shift at Wal-Mart she refused to return to the couple's home, a room at the Crest Motel on seedy West Lincoln in Anaheim. Corbin's act of defiance was understandable. A calm Oglesby had called her at work to say that her gray and white striped, three-month-old kitten had hissed at him and, in retaliation, he'd broken the kitten's neck.
(Later, the killing would lead to the following priceless exchange in court between a prosecutor and Anaheim police officer Cheryl Lynn Murphy: Prosecutor: Did you find the cat inside the Dumpster? Murphy: Yes. Prosecutor: Can you describe what the cat looked like? Murphy: It looked dead.)
When Corbin arrived home the next morning by bus, Oglesby decided he knew the reason for her absence. She'd stayed away to sleep with another man, he insisted. He also described how he'd shaken her kitten to death and left its corpse to grow cold on the floor before tossing it, and its toys, in the trash.
“He was angry,” Corbin testified. “He was mad. He tore up the room.”
A frightened Corbin went to the motel manager's office hoping he'd call police. He said no. That's when 5-foot-6, 181-pound Oglesby showed up, ordered her back to their room and began pulling her by the arm in the parking lot. She sat down on the ground. Oglesby pretended to walk away, spun around and kicked her in her left eye. The blow was so powerful it fractured her face bone and caused severe bleeding. He then dragged her by her hair, tearing out huge clumps, repeatedly punched her face and called her a bitch.
The lunchtime scene prompted several bystanders to call 911. One, a neighbor named Cisco, ran to Corbin's rescue and said, “That's enough!” Oglesby responded by accusing Cisco of sleeping with his girlfriend too, cursed more and attempted to flee responding police on a bicycle.
During court proceedings, Oglesby–sent to Alabama prisons twice in the 1990s for committing felonies, including burglary–employed the insanity defense. He has a “a significant and severe organic impairment in his brain,” declared his court-appointed lawyer. But after multiple psychiatric evaluations (at public expense), Judge Gary Paer ruled the 42-year-old competent enough to face charges. Oglesby accepted a plea deal. For multiple acts of stupidity including domestic violence and cruelty to an animal, he's spending six years in a California prison.
(Periodically at OCWeekly.com, discover the depths of human depravity in Orange County, California.)
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CNN-featured investigative reporter R. Scott Moxley has won Journalist of the Year honors at the Los Angeles Press Club; been named Distinguished Journalist of the Year by the LA Society of Professional Journalists; obtained one of the last exclusive prison interviews with Charles Manson disciple Susan Atkins; won inclusion in Jeffrey Toobin’s The Best American Crime Reporting for his coverage of a white supremacist’s senseless murder of a beloved Vietnamese refugee; launched multi-year probes that resulted in the FBI arrests and convictions of the top three ranking members of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department; and gained praise from New York Times Magazine writers for his “herculean job” exposing entrenched Southern California law enforcement corruption.