DALLAS - A 23-year-old Dallas man who unleashed his two
pit bull terriers on a
neighbor's dog and watched as they mauled the hound-Dalmatian mix has been
sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $14,000.
Carey D. McMillian received the maximum possible sentence
on Wednesday at the animal-cruelty trial.
A witness to the September 2003 attack in Pleasant Grove
described seeing McMillian goad his dogs to attack and ultimately kill the
dog named Cisco.
"The only reason for killing Cisco was for his own
perverse pleasure," lead prosecutor Rick Jackson said in closing
arguments. "This case cries out for the max."
When the panting and exhausted pit bills let up, McMillian
would grab Cisco and shake the dog to provoke the pit bulls to "tear the
dog apart," the neighbor said.
A neighbor surreptitiously videotaped a portion of the
attack. Jurors watched the tape three times before deliberating for 30
minutes and returning a guilty verdict.
The charge of animal cruelty carries a maximum punishment
of two years in a state jail, but the offense was enhanced to a
third-degree felony after prosecutors proved that state law could define
the two dogs as "deadly weapons," The Dallas Morning News reports in its
Jurors also found McMillian guilty of a lesser misdemeanor
charge of dog fighting.
"This happens every day, but in most cases it's not caught
on tape," Ken Qualls, an investigator with the SPCA of Texas, told the
Fort Worth Star-Telegram for its Thursday editions. "This shows that
behavior like this will not be tolerated."
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