Case Snapshot
Case ID: 20079
Classification: Burning - Fire or Fireworks, Beating, Shooting
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014

County: Jackson

Disposition: Alleged

Alleged: Jimmie Lee Ward

A Campbellton man faces an aggravated animal cruelty charge after allegedly shooting his family's dog and then beating it to death with a rifle and an ax handle before setting it on fire.

In addition to animal cruelty, Jimmie Lee Ward, 54, is also charged in the case with aggravated assault (domestic violence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon)

According to the complaint filed against Ward by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office, a deputy was dispatched to Ward's Memory Road home Tuesday after a call from Ward's live-in girlfriend, who is also his ex-wife.

She asked to be taken to a domestic violence shelter, telling the deputy that he had threatened her. She then told the responding office what had allegedly happened to the dog two days earlier.

She said Ward became upset with their Yorkshire terrier because it had defecated on the floor of the homes several times. The woman said Ward forced her to coax the dog onto the porch using a piece of chicken to lure the dog out around 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 5. Ward said she at first refused to do so, but that Ward threatened her with words and by pointing a rifle toward her.

The dog eventually came out onto the porch, but appeared afraid as Ward approached and ran back inside the house, the woman alleges.

Ward chased the dog then, shooting it twice before he ran out of ammunition, according to the witness.

After that, in an unused back bedroom where the dog had run, he allegedly started beating the animal with the rifle. The rifle broke into several pieces at that point, and Ward picked up an ax handle, the witness told authorities. He beat the dog with the ax handle until it was dead, the woman reported.

At that point, she told authorities, Ward threw the dog onto a burn pile in the backyard and burned it.

The deputy was able to find a dog in the burn pile, and found blood spatters on the back porch that led into the home, according to the complaint. The deputy also reported finding a very large amount of blood in the bedroom where the rifle beating had allegedly taken place. The officer also noted that he found a .22-caliber rifle on the floor of the home, broken into numerous pieces and covered with blood.

Ward was arrested about an hour after his girlfriend called authorities.

Officials say he is a convicted felon and is currently on probation. The reporting deputy, who participated in Ward's arrest, said Ward's breath had the strong odor of alcohol and that his balance was very poor at the time he was taken into custody.


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