Douglas County District Judge Marlon Polk sentenced 34-year-old Nathan C. Mayer to 18 months in prison. Mayer also must serve 18 months of post-release supervision and is prohibited from owning or living with a pet for 10 years.
“I’m shaking my head, because I don’t even know where to begin,” Polk said as he prepared to issue the sentence. “Even if this court were to accept your alleged version of what took place, this was just, this was so far out of the box, I don’t know, this was just outrageous.”
Investigators have said Mayer chased the dog around the house. When he cornered the dog, a German Shepherd named Shoes, he stabbed the dog repeatedly and beat him to death with dumbbell weights.
Mayer reportedly told Douglas County sheriff’s deputies that the dog had bitten him and he defended himself.
Deputy Douglas County Attorney Amy Jacobsen said Mayer maintained that “he simply stabbed Shoes because Shoes was biting him.”
But she said that the dog had broken teeth and fractured cheekbones and that bloodstains were left through two stories of the house, including behind a couch and end table where investigators believe the dog tried to hide.
Jacobsen said Mayer’s record did not make him a good candidate for probation. And she asked Polk to ban him from owning an animal for 15 years.
Mayer’s attorney, Ryan Thomas, suggested intensive outpatient treatment for Mayer.
Thomas said Mayer served in the Army, received an honorable discharge and is attending college. But Thomas said Mayer has had substance abuse problems.
“My client’s not a bad person,” Thomas said. “He made a bad decision. ... This year has been difficult for him. If he could go back and change what he did, he would.”
A bad decision? Seriously? He's got a lot of nerve to call the torture death of an animal a "bad decision".
Polk said he was concerned that if rage could cause Mayer to do those things to an animal, what might he do if he became similarly enraged at a person?
The prison sentence sends a message, said Mark Langan, vice president of field operations for the Nebraska Humane Society.
“I hope it will send a message that animal cruelty will not be tolerated,” Langan said, surrounded by dozens of Humane Society supporters who had filled the courtroom and the hallway outside.
Langan said people had answered the Humane Society’s call for support by sending more than 300 letters to Polk.
(Omaha.com - Dec 5, 2016)