Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17532
Classification: Mutilation/Torture
Animal: dog (non pit-bull), pig
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Prosecutor(s): James Davis Jr
Defense(s): James Carey
Judge(s): Michael Powell, Martin Gaughan, Fred Fox II

For more information about the Interactive Animal Cruelty Maps, see the map notes.

Thursday, Mar 10, 2011

County: Hancock

Charges: Felony CTA, Felony Non-CTA
Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Jeffrey Allan Nally, Jr.

Case Updates: 7 update(s) available

Police said a joint investigation by the Hancock County Sheriff's Office and West Virginia State Police led to a disturbing discovery and the arrest of a 19-year old man early Thursday morning.

Jeffrey Nally Jr. is charged with kidnapping and felony animal abuse. Investigators said he held a woman against her will since January. The investigation has also led to another find. According to investigators, Nally was mutilating and killing dogs.

In total, investigators said Nally tortured, mutilated and killed 29 dogs from January up until his arrest Thursday. The carcasses, according to investigators, were found buried in the backyard of his home at 1855 Orchard Lane, which is about a mile off Route 8.

Investigators said they became aware of the situation after the mother of the woman being held against her will called WVSP. According to law enforcement, the woman made contact with her mother and said that he threatened to kill her, himself and state police if they showed up at the home. Police responded and made the arrest without incident.

Authorities said Nally and the woman did have a relationship and she voluntarily moved in with him in December, but about a month later the relationship ended and he began physically and sexually abusing her. In addition, investigators said he would make the woman watch as he tortured and killed the dogs, then made her clean up what was left behind.

After taking the suspect into custody and obtaining a search warrant, police said they found 29 dead dogs on the property. Some had been recently killed, officers reported. Some of the carcasses were found buried in the yard of the home, others were wrapped in plastic.

Police believe Nally began killing the animals in January.

"Mutilated, skinned, anything you can imagine," said Chief Deputy Todd Murray of the animals. "[Nally used] everything from a crossbow, to a drill, saws to hammers. There were several means he used to [mutilate and kill the dogs]."

Murray added that it appeared the suspect used a different tool to kill each dog.

According to court documents, officers even found two dogs eyes in a mason jar.

"One dog had been shot several times. One dog had blunt force trauma to the head. One dog, we think, had its neck snapped," said Nicole Busick, Hancock County Dog Warden.

The dogs were killed inside of the home, according to Murray. Police believe that Nally got pleasure from making his victim watch as he tortured and killed the animals.

Swift action saved the lives of one pig and three dogs; a Poodle, a black Lab and a Coon hound, rescued by the dog warden in the nick of time. Police said the female told them all three were also set to be killed. One of the dogs rescued from the home, a black lab puppy, had siblings that were killed.

Nally used classified ads to locate and obtain the animals "Free to a Good Home", often finding people to willingly drop off their pets thinking they had found a good home and had paid a small amount for the others, police said.

"I'd like to give people the benefit of the doubt that they didn't know what was going on," said Busick.

Most of the animals killed were puppies.

Police also recovered several guns inside the home. Police said the guns were also purchased through classified listings.

Nally was already under home confinement for having guns as a convicted criminal. Police said they pulled weapons from Nally's home back in June. In April 2010, he was convicted of domestic battery.

On February 26, 2010, Jeffrey Allan Nally of New Cumberland, West Virgina, was fined $150, sentenced to 30 days, 25 suspended and placed on probation three years for domestic violence at the East Liverpool Municipal Court.

The exact charges against Nally include 29 felony counts of animal cruelty, one count of kidnapping and a domestic violence charge. He's being held was behind bars Thursday on $450,000 bail and is scheduled to appear before a magistrate Friday morning.

Case Updates

Its been nearly a year now since a Hancock County man was accused of brutally killing and mutilating 29 animals after kidnapping his girlfriend and making her watch.

Today authorities said Jeff Nally Jr. plead guilty to some of those charges and is headed to prison.

Authorities said Nally was facing 32 charges.

Today many of them were dropped while others he plead guilty to in exchange for a plea deal.

Nally was found guilty on 9 animal cruelty charges and will receive 1 to 5 years on each count.

A judge sentenced him to 9 to 45 years behind bars.

He will have to serve a minimum of five years before he can apply for an early release.

A sexual assault and kidnapping charge against him were both dropped.

Investigators say many of the animals he mutilated were puppies.
Source: - Apr 4, 2012
Update posted on Apr 4, 2012 - 8:39PM 
For the fourth time, a judge will set a trial date for Jeffrey Nally Jr., accused of raping one woman and kidnapping another, and forcing her to help him torture and kill dozens of dogs at his New Cumberland home.

Nally, 20, will appear in Hancock County Circuit Court on Jan. 20 before Judge Fred Fox II, a senior status judge appointed to fill in for Circuit Judge Martin Gaughan, who is recovering from a stroke he suffered while in Charleston in November.

Last year, a grand jury indicted Nally on one count each of kidnapping and second-degree sexual assault and 29 counts of animal cruelty.

The case was continued on three previous occasions to allow Nally to undergo a psychiatric evaluation and for the defense to review an examination of canine remains investigators reportedly found on Nally's property. That examination was conducted by Dr. Melinda Merck of the University of Florida, who helped federal prosecutors build a case against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges in 2007 and served almost two years in prison before returning to the NFL in 2009.

Nally has been behind bars since March 9, when police surrounded his home at 1855 Orchard Road after the alleged kidnapping victim's mother told police Nally was holding her daughter against her will.

Nally reportedly threatened to kill responding officers but ultimately allowed the woman to exit the home without interference.

The woman told police that earlier in the day, Nally forced her to hold a puppy as he bored into its head with an electric drill. She also said he had abused her on numerous occasions since December 2010.

Nally's trial originally was set for Sept. 1, but Merck's report wasn't filed until Aug. 26 and Gaughan rescheduled proceedings for Sept. 27 to allow the defense to review it. The trial date was pushed back to Nov. 29 when Nally's attorney, James Carey, informed the court the Chestnut Ridge mental health facility in Morgantown could not evaluate Nally until Oct. 31.

The trial later was continued for a third time because prosecutors still had not seen the results of that evaluation. A sealed envelope containing those results was added to the case file on Wednesday.

There are several pretrial motions yet to be resolved in the case. Nally's appointed counsel, James Carey, is seeking to separate the sexual assault, kidnapping and animal cruelty cases into three trials, arguing they are unrelated. The sexual assault charge stems from an alleged Oct. 4, 2010 incident involving a different woman.

The defense also wants to prevent prosecutors from introducing any evidence gathered from Nally's property on March 9, claiming they obtained it without a search warrant. Investigators reportedly discovered numerous dog corpses in shallow graves or in plastic bags tossed over a hillside when they returned to Nally's property the day after his arrest.
Source: - Jan 8, 2012
Update posted on Jan 7, 2012 - 11:50PM 
A man accused of raping one woman, kidnapping another and slaughtering almost 30 dogs will go to trial in late November after a Hancock County judge learned the defendant has yet to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Jeffrey A. Nally Jr., 20, of New Cumberland appeared Tuesday before Circuit Judge Martin Gaughan. He has been incarcerated without bond since his March 9 arrest.

Gaughan attempted to set the case for trial the first week of October, but Nally's attorney, James Carey, objected, saying the earliest he could get his client into the Chestnut Ridge mental health facility in Morgantown for an evaluation is Oct. 31. The case was continued in August to allow for the evaluation after Nally waived his right to a speedy trial.

Gaughan set the trial for 8:30 a.m. Nov. 29 and told Carey to notify the court immediately if the evaluation's results create the need for an additional hearing.

A Hancock County grand jury indicted Nally in April on a slew of felony charges, including one count each of second-degree sexual assault and kidnapping and 29 counts of animal cruelty. The sexual assault and kidnapping allegations involve different victims, both female.

On March 9, police surrounded Nally's 1855 Orchard Road home after the alleged kidnapping victim's mother reported Nally was holding her daughter against her will. According to the criminal complaint in the case, Nally threatened to kill responding officers but ultimately allowed the woman to exit the home without interference.

The woman told police that earlier in the day, Nally forced her to hold a puppy as he bored into its head with an electric drill, and he had abused her on numerous occasions since December.

Following Tuesday's hearing, a woman identifying herself as Nally's grandmother said the case is "not all cut and dried," and the public hasn't had the chance to hear her grandson's version of events.

"We can prove that she was never held hostage. We have too many witnesses on that," said the woman, who declined to give her name.

Investigators returned to Nally's home the following day and reportedly discovered 29 mutilated, canine corpses in shallow graves or in plastic bags thrown into the woods, a beagle dog's skin, two dog eyes in a jar, several dog tags and a dog skull.

They also found a shotgun and rifle on the property, the complaint notes.

Nally had been on home confinement resulting from previous domestic violence and illegal gun possession cases.

According to the indictment, the sexual assault charge stemmed from an alleged Oct. 4, 2010, incident involving another female victim.

The animal cruelty counts alone carry a possible 145-year maximum sentence, but Nally could face life in prison if convicted of kidnapping. The sexual assault charge carries a sentence of 10-25 years.
Source: - Sep 28, 2011
Update posted on Sep 28, 2011 - 10:03PM 
The grand jury indicted Jeffrey Nally Jr. on charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and 29 counts of animal cruelty, the result of events from Oct. 4, 2010, to March 9. Nally remains in the Northern Regional Jail on $450,000 bond.

According to the indictment, the charge of second degree sexual assault stems from a March 4 incident in which Nally engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman against her will.

The incidents resulting in 29 charges of animal cruelty took place at various dates and times from Dec. 10, 2010 to March 9, the indictment states. Counts are listed separately for each animal - puppies and dogs - and each states Nally committed each offense of cruelty to animals by "unlawfully, feloniously, intentionally and torturing, mutilating and maliciously killing" the puppies and dogs.

On the kidnapping charge, the indictment states Nally committed the offense of "kidnapping and holding hostage by unlawfully and feloniously, by force, threat and duress" confine a woman "for the purpose of evading capture" after Nally "had committed the crime of animal cruelty."

West Virginia State Police Trooper Larry Roberts and Det. Matt Harvey of the Hancock County Sheriff's Office are the investigating officers of record on the indictment.
Source: - Apr 15, 2011
Update posted on Apr 15, 2011 - 4:22PM 
Already facing 30 felony counts, a New Cumberland man accused of forcing his girlfriend to help him maim and kill dozens of dogs at his home could face additional charges, Hancock County Prosecutor James Davis Jr. said Friday.

Davis said a grand jury will hear the case against 19-year-old Jeffrey Nally of 1855 Orchard Road when it convenes April 12-13. Nally is charged with kidnapping and 29 counts of cruelty to animals, but Davis said that list could grow based on evidence he plans to introduce to the grand jurors.

"I don't want to address those (charges) at this time," he said.

Davis noted the kidnapping charge carries a possible life sentence. However, Nally could face up to 145 years in prison on the animal cruelty counts alone if convicted on all of them.

Hancock County Magistrate Michael Powell dismissed a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery against Nally last week, but Davis said dismissal was without prejudice - meaning the grand jury still could elect to indict Nally on that count.

In felony matters, magistrate court jurisdiction ends with determining probable cause to transfer those cases to circuit court, but magistrate court has original jurisdiction in misdemeanor cases. Davis said he moved to have the charge dismissed in magistrate court to allow the circuit court to hear it and keep the entire matter in one place.

According to the criminal complaint in the case, authorities arrested Nally just after 6 p.m. March 9, when the victim's mother reported Nally was holding her daughter against her will. He was on home confinement at the time of his arrest for domestic violence and illegal possession of firearms.

Nally allegedly threatened to kill responding officers upon their arrival, as well as his girlfriend and himself. However, the complaint states after the entry team got there, the girlfriend "exited the residence without interference from the accused."

Earlier that day, Nally allegedly forced his girlfriend to hold a puppy as he killed it by using an electric drill to bore into its head, the document notes. During a later interview, she told them Nally had physically and sexually abused her on numerous occasions since December.

Among the discoveries officers made during a search of the property the following day were 29 mutilated, canine corpses in shallow graves or in plastic bags thrown into the woods, a beagle dog's skin, two dog eyes in a mason jar, several dog tags and a dog skull. Investigators also found a shotgun and rifle inside the home.

Davis said there easily could have been more killings authorities don't know about.

Sheriff Mike White previously said had the alleged pattern of behavior been allowed to continue, he believes Nally eventually would have killed his girlfriend.
Source: - Mar 26, 2011
Update posted on Mar 26, 2011 - 2:25PM 
An East Liverpool family is furious after learning of the fate of dogs they gave to a man accused of mutilating and killing 29 puppies.

Kim Herron is glad she didn't give away all of her black Labrador puppies from a litter, but she did give three dogs to Jeffrey Nally Jr. of New Cumberland.

"I thought they were going to a good home," said Herron. "They lived up on a mountain in a farmhouse. The girl there said he gave them out to his relatives."

According to Hancock County deputies, Nally used power tools and hunting equipment to brutally torture and kill 29 dogs inside his home, where he allegedly kept his girlfriend captive and forced her to take part.

Herron placed an ad for the free puppies in the classifieds and said Nally's girlfriend called to inquire.

"She called so much, I had her number saved in my phone as 'puppies'," she said.

Herron said the young woman didn't act unusual or scared when she dropped off the dogs, and Nally never said a word.

Herron and her daughter are devastated.

They gave Nally five other puppies in the past.

Herron's daughter Kim Beatty said, "I cried. I'm a dog person and I really cried. How could someone do that to an animal?"

"It's disgusting and sad to think that a human could do that to an animal," said Herron. "I'm glad they caught him because I can't imagine what he would do to a person if he could do that to an animal."
Source: - Mar 11, 2011
Update posted on Mar 11, 2011 - 7:53PM 
The man accused of mutilating and killing 29 dogs and holding his girlfriend captive inside his Hancock County home had his first appearance before a magistrate judge Friday.

The case against Jeffrey Nally Jr. was continued because of a conflict with the public defender's office.

Nally remains jailed on 29 counts of animal cruelty, one count of kidnapping and one count of domestic battery.

Nally was arrested at his home Wednesday after the girlfriend's mother contacted police.

Police allege that Nally held the woman, 19, captive and often mutilated and killed the animals in front of her.

Before attending his court appearance Friday, members of Nally's family described a very different relationship between the two.

"She was calling him 'babe'," said Nally's cousin, Donna Reed. Reed added that the girl was "all smiles" during a recent encounter. Reed and other members of Nally's family said they witnessed several opportunities for the woman to leave.

"She also asked me when I was taking her shopping to get her bridal gown," said Nally's grandmother Margaret Haught. Haught also stated that she believed the woman to be a willing participant, if the allegations against Nally are true.

"It wasn't one sided," Haught said. "She was right there with him."

Police say that the woman was forced to participate in the mutilation of the animals and that Nally derived pleasure from observing her discomfort. She was also forced to clean up the remains, according to officials.

A man claiming that he dropped off several puppies at Nally's home was also at court Friday.

"I've been up all night over it," said George Bell. "I didn't feel [anything suspicious] at first. They were talking all lovey-dovey," he added about the couple, saying that he later became suspicious after they called back and asked for three more.

Members of Nally's family did not give a yes or no answer when asked if they believed the allegations being made in the case were true.

However, Haught did concede that her grandson has "issues."

"He has problems. I'll admit it," Haught said. She added that her grandson suffered from bipolar disorder and ADHD and that he would become angry easily.

Family members said they had never observed him being cruel to animals.

"I have two Chihuahuas," said Reed. "He always petted them and treated them OK."

Nally is scheduled to appear in court again next week.
Source: - Mar 11, 2011
Update posted on Mar 11, 2011 - 7:50PM 


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