On Wednesday, May 10, Genesee Circuit Judge Geoffrey L. Neithercut sentenced Jessica Lou Brown, 18, to spend a year in the county jail -- with nearly two month's credit -- for her role in the dog's death.
Typically, inmates only serve 1/3 of their sentence so knock that 12 months down to 8 months and now she's got 2 months 'time served' so she's now at 6 months. Six months - not in prison but county jail for the horrific torture death of this poor little dog.
"I've been in this business for 31 years and I was grossed out when I read about all of this," said Neithercut. "It's appalling and sickening, and I don't use strong words like that."
Brown's attorney, Kraig Sippell, told the judge that his client was "minimally involved" in the incident.
Sippell claims that Brown -- who was 17 and a high school student at the time of the incident -- was following the lead of her sister's boyfriend, Nathan Chase McCue, who is also charged in the case.
Sippell said McCue was already charged with domestic violence against Brown's sister, and that the girl followed McCue out into the woods "under the guise that they were there to let the dog run free."
When they got to the park, Sippell claims McCue began stomping on the 7-year-old dog's neck, forcing the girl to partake in the killing and warned her not to tell anyone about the incident.
JUDGE CALLS TORTURING A DOG TO DEATH "YOUTHFUL FOOLISHNESS"
While Neithercut called the dog's death "sickening," he said that he "also recognized youthful foolishness" and granted Brown two years of probation after her jail time under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act.
The act allows a judge to place a defendant between the ages of 17 and 24 in jail or on probation without a conviction. If the defendant successfully completes the terms of the judge's sentence, he or she avoids having a criminal record.
After receiving a tip from Brown's mother, Genesee County Sheriff Robert J. Pickell and his office launched an investigation into the death of the dog, an instance the sheriff called "truly one of the most horrific cases I have seen in my law enforcement career."
In a Facebook post, the sheriff said that McCue and Brown became upset with Dakota, the mixed-breed Shih Tzu, after the animal urinated on McCue's clothing.
McCue, 21, is also charged with one felony count of killing or torturing an animal. He is currently under forensic investigation for mental health issues, said Sippell, and is scheduled to appear before Genesee District Judge Vikki Bayeh-Haley on Friday, May 12.
(MLive - May 10, 2017)
- Michigan: Police say Jessica Brown and Nathan McCue bound a Shih Tzu's feet and wrapped his entire face in electrical tape and then stomped him to death. His crime? He peed on some clothes lying on the floor.
- Michigan: "I had no idea that my daughter was involved in this. I did not raise a child like this," said mother of Jessica Brown, 18, who is accused of taking her Shih Tzu, wrapping his legs and his entire face in electrical tape then stomping him to death and dumping his body on the side of the road