Judge: Puppy killer could be headed to jail

Judge: Puppy killer could be headed to jail
By BRAD GASKINS
News Editor
DRESDEN – A teenager on probation for torturing a puppy to death last May has violated terms of his probation, authorities said.
Preston Odle was charged last weekend with possession of a firearm by a felon and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to court documents.
Odle, 18, of Dresden appeared Dec. 20 before Weakley County Circuit Court Judge William B. Acree Jr., who set bond at $25,000.
Odle, through his attorney, pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is to appear Jan. 2 in general session court.
Acree set a circuit court date for Jan. 17.
Acree said Odle’s judicial diversion would be revoked if he is found guilty of violating probation.
“You are likely to face jail time if you are guilty,” Acree said.
It was Acree who granted Odle judicial diversion Nov. 8. Acree ordered Odle to complete 200 hours of community service, undergo mental evaluations and submit to random drug tests.
If Odle stayed out of trouble for two years, the conviction would be wiped from his record.
Acree warned Odle that community members would be keeping close eyes on him. Last weekend, though, it was the ears of an off-duty police officer that landed Odle back in court.
The off-duty police officer called the Weakley County Sheriff’s Department to report shots fired somewhere near a home north of Dresden. The off-duty officer found the vehicle, with Odle behind the wheel and four juvenile passengers inside.
Once deputies arrived, Odle said one of the minors, a 15 year-old, shot a rifle out of the vehicle window attempting to kill a deer.
In the original case, Odle, along with Levi Evans, pled guilty to one count of aggravated animal cruelty for torturing a four month old St. Bernard puppy to death in May.
The dog had been kicked and suffered broken ribs, Dresden Police Chief Randal Walker reported.
Authorities also accused the teens of stabbing the dog at least once and hanging it with wire wrapped around its neck.
The dog apparently had been given to Odle, who said he didn’t want it and called a friend to come get it. The friend and his father contacted police after they came to pick up the dog and allegedly found it limping and foaming at the mouth.
The case drew attention for animal rights activists. About 30 members of a group called “Justice for Puppy Doe” picketed outside the courthouse and urged the judge to impose the maximum two-year sentence for the Class E felony.
Published in The WCP 12.27.12

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