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For the Love of the Dog

Wichita’s First Felony Animal Cruelty Case

Wichita’s felony animal cruelty statute enacted in July 2006 called Magnum’s Law or Scruffy’s Law after two dogs that were tortured is finally going to get to show it’s teeth.

Marques Eason, 33, of the 1100 block of North Pershing is the first to face this law. He is charged with felony animal cruelty after ‘allegedly’ throwing a 4 month old Dachshund mix puppy named Apollo.

The two witnesses to the account give different stories but in both the puppy is thrown to the ground and the injuries sustained, both lungs full of blood and a torn liver that had bled into the abdomen causing the puppy to suffocated on its own blood and die were consistent.

The incident took place in November of 2006. One of the witnesses, a mail carrier, told her story at the preliminary hearing in court Friday.

Ann Mehlisch, a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service, testified that she was delivering mail in the 1000 block of North Pershing that same day when she “heard a dog screaming.”

She looked over toward the house where the sound came from in the next block and saw Eason lift a black puppy above his head and slam it onto the ground or front stoop.

Yelling something she could not understand, he went inside the house, Mehlisch said. She called animal control to report the incident but did not confront Eason because “I felt my job at that point was to deliver the mail,” she testified.

The other account comes from Marques Eason’s stepson.

Duane Blocker, 20, testified that he was sitting at the computer when Eason, his stepfather, walked out the front door on his way to a gym. Eason turned and went into the front yard, and Blocker said he heard “a screeching sound… like a little puppy being scared.”

The family had two young puppies they were trying to get rid of and they were supposed to stay in the backyard, Blocker said.

Blocker said he saw Eason carry two puppies — one of them Apollo — into the living room, knock their heads together “like a set of cymbals,” and throw them to the floor.

One of the puppies did not appear to be injured, but Apollo staggered and collapsed, bleeding from his mouth and nose, Blocker testified. The dog also defecated involuntarily, he said.

Blocker said he and his sister took the dog to a veterinary clinic, where they were told it would likely need surgery and may not survive. They were then sent to Heartland Animal Hospital on North Woodlawn, where Apollo died.

The testimony was enough for Sedgwick County District Judge Joe Kisner to bind Eason over for trial under a statute that makes animal cruelty a felony. Eason pleaded not guilty, and his trial was set for March 10.

Eason declined to comment after the hearing. His attorney, Lawrence Williamson, said jurors will need to pay close attention to Eason’s intent when he was handling the dog.

If he is convicted, Eason faces anywhere from 30 days to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $5,000.

Source – Kansas.com

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