Kennett man charged with felony for torturing, killing puppy

Friday, June 26, 2009 ~ Updated 2:41 PM

A 19-year-old Kennett man is currently facing a class D felony charge of animal abuse after killing his brother's puppy.

According to a report by Jesse Wells, of the Kennett Police Department, on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, officers responded to a report of a disturbance on Harris Street.

Wells said that upon arrival, he located two males, later identified as Davie Vincint and Lewis Howard III, arguing in the street.

After separating the two individuals, Wells said he spoke with Vincint, who said that when he came home from work he found his 3-month-old puppy dead, hanging by a leash from a tree in the back yard with a metal pole in the collar.

Vincint said he spoke with his cousin who told him that Howard, Vincint's brother, was bragging about killing the animal, according to Wells. When Howard returned to the home, the two brothers began to argue and fight.

As Wells began to investigate the scene, he said he located a small brown and black puppy in the back yard by a tree, with no signs of life.

The animal had a small black metal pole in the collar, as if someone had twisted it, according to Wells. The officer the said photos were taken of the animal for the images section of the report.

Wells said he then returned to speak with Howard, who stated he was mad at his brother because he had kicked him out and had been assaulting him. Howard continued, saying that he had heard his brother was going to kill him all day, so he went to Vincint's house to apologize, but Vincint was not there.

Wells reported that at this point, Howard admitted that he was mad at his brother so he killed the dog by putting a metal pole inside the collar and twisting it until it was not breathing. The officer then placed Howard under arrest.

Howard, who was originally charged with a misdemeanor of animal neglect, was released after a 24-hour hold.

After further investigation, Dunklin County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen P. Sokoloff is now charging Howard with the class D felony of animal abuse, due to the fact that the death involved torture while the animal was still alive.

If convicted, Howard could face up to four years in the state penitentiary, up to two years in the county jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or a combination of a fine and jail time, according to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jonce Chidister.

Howard is scheduled for an arraignment hearing before Judge John C. Spielman at 9 a.m., on Friday, July 10.

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