Greg Wicker, Long-Time Anime Con Panelist, Retires Amid Animal Cruelty Charges

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

James Gregory "Greggo" Wicker, an anime con regular known for his "Greggo Game Show" panels, announced his retirement on October 30, the same day news surfaced that he was arrested on charges of animal cruelty. 43-year-old Wicker contacted Morgantown Police in West Virgina to turn himself in on the morning of October 30. Police arrived at the residence to find one kitten injured among the nine cats in the home.

Wicker shared the home with his girlfriend who was fostering the cats for Appalachian Peace Paws Rescue. The injured kitten was strangled but not killed. County Animal Control was contacted and took custody of five of the cats at the home. Appalachian Peace Paws Rescue wrote on Facebook on October 30 that it was aware of the situation and that all of the cats are no longer in the home.

Wicker was charged with felony animal abuse and released from police custody on a personal recognizance bond. A personal recognizance bond requires the defendant to sign a written promise that they will appear as scheduled in court. No monetary amount must be paid when a judge releases a defendant on a personal recognizance bond.

The kitten was not the first cat to be injured inside the home. Wicker wrote on his Facebook page on October 29 that it had been two weeks since an accident involving a cat named Licorice. Wicker had previously promoted the Appalachian Peace Paws Rescue on his personal Facebook page where he attempted to raise US$430 on October 11 to attempt to cover Licorice's veterinary bills. In a later Facebook post he claims that all US$30 raised from the fundraiser went to his girlfriend's mother to cover the vet payment for Licorice.

In another public post on Facebook, Wicker detailed the circumstances surrounding the strangling incident on October 30 and alleged it was the result of his struggle with alcohol use. Wicker wrote that he was intoxicated at the time of the abuse and was still intoxicated when he turned himself in to police.

Wicker stated that after his release he was admitted into a rehabilitation center and spent a week in treatment and is attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and therapy.

Wicker was the host of the "Greggo Game Show" panels and was a convention regular since at least 1999 when he premiered Anime Match Game at Project A-Kon in Dallas. He's appeared repeatedly at Anime Blast Chattanooga as well as Ohayocon, Anime-SPARK in Iowa, and many others. He was scheduled to appear as a guest of honor at Zenkaikon 2019 in Lancaster, Penn. in March but the con has since removed him from the guest list.

Source: Newsweek (Jason Murdock)

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