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Guilty Pleas Entered in Puppy Abuse Case

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

WEAKLEY COUNTY, Tenn.- Two teens accused of killing a puppy in Weakley County entered in a guilty plea during their arraignment, Monday.

According to the Weakley County Circuit Clerk's Office, Preston Odle and Levi Evans entered in a guilty plea after both teens were indicted September 7 by a grand jury for aggravated animal cruelty.

Dresden police said both Odle and Evans are responsible in the cruel killing of a four-month-old Saint Bernard Puppy that was brutally beaten and stabbed to death. The teens have been charged with a range one Class E felony that carries a maximum sentence of two years. Residents said the punishment both teens are now facing doesn't match their crime.

"They kicked the puppy, broke its ribs, stabbed it multiple times and then basically it was left to suffer until it died," said resident Lisa Oatsvall."I want it out there that it's not to be tolerated, we can't tolerate this."

Residents inside of the courtroom told 7 Eyewitness News they have not seen the teens show any remorse. "When they recounted what happened to the dog, as I was watching the defendants, they stood there motionless and expressionless," said Resident Bruce Lyngaas. "As if they were hearing news about the sun coming up today, there was just no reaction what so ever."

Officials said both Odle and Evans pleaded Guilty after hearing the charges against them and neither teen openly said anything about their case in court.

Some residents told 7 Eyewitness News they believed the maximum punishment of two years is not enough for this type of crime.

"It just makes me think that the judicial system is maybe looking at this too lightly and not taking it seriously enough," said Lyngaas.

Officials with the Weakley County Sheriff's Department took Odle into custody for a curfew violation of conditional release. Odle was held for three days and released to a guardian on bond. "Both of them (Odle and Evans) had to stay with their parents for guardianship, they had curfew, and that wasn't kept," said Lyngaas.

Residents said the curfew violation was not mentioned in court, but they feel it should have been addressed further. "We just hope that they spend an adequate time in jail, if nothing else to set an example," said Oatsvall.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin McAlpin said his office pursued the maximum punishment that legislation will allow. Dresden police said both teens' family's have received threatening phone calls from upset residents.

Both teens are scheduled to return to court for sentencing November 8.