Saint Bernard Puppy before torture killing

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Pair Charged with Puppy Abuse Appear in Court

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

In Dresden, the two teens accused of torturing and stabbing a 4-month-old Saint Bernard puppy to death, appeared in front of a judge, Wednesday.

The courtroom was filled with upset residents and family members for both Preston Odle,18, and Levi Evans, 19, who each face a charge of especially aggravated animal cruelty in connection with the incident in May.

Emotions ran high during their preliminary hearing. Residents said they are still outraged and fearful the two will hurt someone or something else. "This time it was a puppy. Next time it might be a little baby," said Glyn Watson who lives in Atwood.

During the hearing, Odle and Evans learned the District Attorney is pursuing Class-E felonies again them, which typically carry a one to two year sentence.

Some residents said, they believe two years is not enough for the life of a puppy. "This punishment for this crime does not fit," said Brenda Watson of Atwood.

Defense attorneys said both Odle and Evans waived their right to a preliminary hearing. Their cases will now move to the grand jury in September. Until then the court ruled they are to stay in Weakley County and undergo mandatory counseling.

"He has placed a curfew of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week on both of these young men," said Lang Unger, Odle's Defense Attorney.

The judge also ordered no contact with any animals while they are in treatment. Residents said, they felt the restrictions placed on both were too light considering the nature of the crime they are accused of.

"Well they could still hurt somebody before 8 o' clock as long as they are home I guess the court ruled it doesn't matter," said Lyndsay Burnett of McKenzie.

Animal cruelty is a growing problem in the south region and they are now taking a stand, said local animal rights activists.

"That's the first step to getting everything changed. We want to get the punishment for these crimes changed," said Watson.

Unger said his client was anxious during the hearing, due to the enormous attention on the internet, surrounding this case.

"We've been monitoring some of the things on the internet and I'm disturbed by some of the more vocal folks who want to make those kind of threats that's not productive, I hope that ceases." said Unger.

Odle has endured many hardships over the years that will become more evident throughout this case, said Unger.

Both Odle and Evans are scheduled to reappear in court September 10th.