Weakley teens enter guilty pleas in dog torture case

Weakley teens enter guilty pleas in dog torture case
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Guilty pleas were entered Monday in Weakley County Circuit Court by two teenagers accused of torturing a puppy which later died.
Preston Odle, 18, of Dresden and Levi Evans, 19, of Greenfield entered the guilty pleas when they appeared for arraignment on a charge of aggravated cruelty to animals.
Circuit Judge William B. Acree Jr. set their sentencing for Nov. 8 in Weakley County Circuit Court. The offense is a range one Class E felony that carries a maximum sentence of two years, authorities said.
Several animal activists reportedly were on hand at Monday’s Circuit Court arraignments at the courthouse in Dresden in an effort to raise awareness about animal abuse.
Odle and Evans were indicted Sept. 4 by a Weakley County grand jury on the single charge of aggravated cruelty to animals, which stemmed from a May incident in which Dresden police discovered a puppy had allegedly been tortured to death.
The Dresden Police Department was contacted about 7:45 p.m. May 15 when a young man and his father went to pick up a dog that reportedly was foaming at the mouth and limping, according to an affidavit.
Dresden Police Chief Randal Walker reported a St. Bernard puppy which was about four months old apparently had been given to Odle, who claimed he didn’t want the dog and offered the puppy to a friend. When the friend came back with his father to pick up the animal, they noticed the dog was foaming at the mouth, limping and had a cut on its back.
Walker reported Odle and Evans allegedly admitted to assaulting the puppy. He said the dog had been kicked and suffered broken ribs.
The teens were also accused of wiring the puppy’s mouth shut and wrapping its neck in wire and hanging the animal. Additionally, the dog had sustained a knife wound in the back, police reported.
The puppy died a few hours later as a result of injuries.
After Odle and Evans were initially charged with aggravated cruelty to animals back in May, they waived their case to the grand jury during a hearing in June in Weakley County General Sessions Court.
At the June hearing, which was attended by several people representing area animal shelters, a judge had ruled the two young men had to meet certain conditions until their arraignment after Weakley County’s September term of the grand jury, including continuing counseling, not having contact with animals and abiding by a curfew.
Published in The Messenger 9.11.12

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