Animal Writes
From 5 September 2004 Issue

Ten Year Sentence For Cruelty
(Houston Chronicle, 2 Sept. 2004)
Associated Press

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 Thursday editions.

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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