UPDATE 9/13/12 @ 11:20 a.m.
LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- "This is the meanest act I've ever seen," were the words of Judge Oakley Clark Collins Jr. just before sentencing the two men who pleaded guilty to stabbing and slitting the throats of two dogs.
Jonathan Jiles, 20, of Pedro, and Brian Sharp, 20, of Pedro, pleaded guilty to prohibition concerning companion animals and criminal trespassing during a hearing in Ironton Municipal court Thursday morning.
Each man was sentenced to seven months in the county jail, three years probation and fined $1,200. They must also pay restitution of $800 to the dog’s owner and can’t own a penned animal for three years.
The dog’s owners, Josie and Michael Scythes, found "Bubba" and "Bear" stabbed to death in the front yard of their home in Pedro last month.
Sheriff Lawless says following their arrest, both men admitted to their involvement in the stabbings and said they were drunk at the time. They also said they did not target the owners of the dogs.
Both Jiles and Sharp told the court they were sorry for what they did but the dog’s owner said they wish more could be done in cases like this.
“I just couldn't believe why they would do something like this. Why they would want to do it. I'm very pleased they got the max the law would allow for such a brutal act. It should be considered a felony,” said Josie Scytes.
Sheriff Jeff Lawless says Jonathan Jiles, 20, of Pedro, was arrested Wednesday night. Brian Sharp, 20, of Pedro, was arrested Monday night.
Sheriff Lawless says both men admitted to their involvement in the stabbings and said they were drunk at the time. They also said they did not target the owners of the dogs.
The two dogs were found stabbed death in the front yard of a home in Pedro early Saturday morning.
Both men are charged with prohibition concerning companion animals. They are also charged with criminal trespassing.
When it came to choosing a charge, Lawless tells WSAZ.com that "When you have a crime like this, where people have targeted these innocent animals, we wanted to go after them. And as we looked at the statutes that would govern this for the Ohio Revised Code, cruelty to animals is certainly a charge that would stick so we wanted to research to see if there was something that was a little more stringent because we felt like the nature of the crime warranted a little bit more. So we were able to come up with a prohibition concerning companion animals charge."
The charge is a misdemeanor one, compared to cruelty to animals being a misdemeanor two. The prohibition charge has a stiffer jail punishment.
The men face six months in jail if they are convicted.
Sheriff Jeff Lawless says Brian Sharp, 20, of Pedro, Ohio was arrested late Monday night.
Lawless says warrants are being issued for a second person in the case. He is not releasing that persons name at this time.
The two dogs were found stabbed death in the front yard of a home in Pedro, Ohio early Saturday morning.
Lawless tells WSAZ.com that Sharp and the other suspect did not target the homeowner or the dogs. "There is no clear motive, from our interview with Mr. Sharp, this appears to be a random act of violence," Lawless said.
Sharp is charged with prohibition concerning companion animals, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail if he is convicted of the crime. He was also charged with criminal trespassing.
Lawless also tells WSAZ.com that Sharp had a bite mark on his hand.
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Their two dogs, Bubba and Bear, had been stabbed to death.
They say there was blood everywhere.
One of the dog's houses was ripped completely apart, as though the dog had tried to hide and the killer went after him.
The Scythes are offering a $1,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.
For Josie, one of the most difficult aspects of all this, is thinking about how frightened and helpless her pets were.
"There was nothing they could do,” she said. “They were on a chain. You don't expect someone to come up and slaughter your dogs like that."
Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless says whoever is responsible for this will face, at the very least, charges of animal cruelty and criminal trespassing. That's a minimum of 30 days in jail.
"I have dogs of my own,” Lawless said. “And it's upsetting when you take an innocent animal and do something like this to it."
He says they are still looking for information about the case, and more charges could be added when an arrest is made.
Lawless said it appears to be an isolated incident.
Josie Scythes says it happened sometime early Saturday morning outside her home in the 300 block of State Route 373 in Pedro.
She and her husband found their two dogs with multiple stab wounds and their throats slit.
"I just don't understand what kind of a person could do this to an innocent animal," Scythes said. "And if they can do this, what's next? Somebody's kid?"
Scythes is asking anyone with any information to contact the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office. If a tip leads to an arrest, she is offering a $1,000 reward.
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