Quentin L. Pruett, 29 of Decatur, IL was sentenced to three years for on his conviction of animal torture.

On March 2 of this year Macon County animal control wardens were called to the Division Street house after a complaint from a landlord who found the body of a dog hanging in the basement from an electrical cord.

On May 17, it took a jury only 50 minute to find Pruett guilty of aggravated cruelty to an animal for hanging a white pit bull in the basement of a house in the 1300 block of East Division Street.

Assistant Public Defender David Ellison asked for the verdict to be set aside because the evidence was circumstantial and when that request was denied by Circuit Court Judge Katherine McCarthy who agreed the evidence was circumstantial but said it was sufficient to have found Pruett guilty, Ellison asked that the sentence be probation rather then prison time. Again she denied his request.

“Probation is not appropriate,” McCarthy said. “It would not underscore the seriousness of this crime. This is a horrendous set of facts.”

Deters said veterinarian Shelley Stevens testified at the trial that the dog was still alive when hanged and had been starved for several days prior to the hanging. He said the dog went through suffering for no reason.

And as a psychological evaluation of Pruett showed no ‘defects,’ this led Deters to conclude the Pruett was ‘just plain mean.’

With prior convictions for burglary, forgery and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, Pruett was eligible for a prison term of up to 10 years. Assistant State’s Attorney Duane Deters said the aggravated cruelty to an animal felony was a lesser charge and asked that Pruett be sentenced to five years in prison on the animal torture conviction.

Pruett plans to appeal his conviction but personally I think he got off light especially when you consider the pain the poor dog went through and the horrendous cruel torture of being starved and hanged.

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