|Puppy killer sentenced for violating probation
|Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013 9:01 pm
|By BRAD GASKINS
Special to The Messenger
A judge Thursday sentenced Preston Odle of Dresden to six months in jail and a year and a half under house arrest.
The sentence, handed down by Circuit Court Judge Bill Acree, came after Odle violated terms of his judicial probation.
“I want a psychological profile done on you — it will be at your expense — to determine whether or not there’s some type of behavior you have or some type of psychological reason you have that causes you to commit these types of crimes,” Acree told Odle.
The case against Odle began in May 2012 when he and an accomplice, Levi Evans of Greenfield, were accused of torturing a 4-month-old St. Bernard puppy to death. The case drew international attention from animal rights activists.
Odle and Evans pled guilty in August 2012 to one count of aggravated animal cruelty, a Class E felony. They were sentenced Nov. 8 to judicial diversion and sternly warned to stay out of trouble.
It took Odle less than two months to find himself in trouble again.
In late December, he was allegedly caught driving around with juveniles at night shooting at deer with a rifle. He pleaded guilty in Weakley County General Sessions Court to one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and received 45 days in jail.
“I know you’re almost a minor yourself, but you’re an adult now in the eyes of the law,” Acree told Odle on Thursday.
Acree also said “it’s disturbing to the court that both of these crimes involved animals of some type.”
It was also revealed during the sentencing hearing that Odle had completed just three and a half hours of the 200 hours of community service he was ordered to complete Nov. 8.
About 25 animal rights advocates representing two different groups attended Thursday’s hearing.
Susan Lyngaas, a spokeswoman for a group called Advocates for Companion Animals, read a prepared statement after the hearing.
“We would like to thank Judge Acree for protecting the community with the sentence and Kevin McAlpin, the assistant district attorney, for all of his hard work on this case,” she said.
“Many studies have demonstrated the link between violence against animals and violence against humans. Animal abuse, neglect or cruelty cannot be tolerated or ignored within our communities. To do so not only puts our animals at risk, but it also puts the citizens at risk.”
She encouraged everyone to report any animal abuse to authorities.
Lisa Oatsvall, a spokeswoman for the group Justice for Puppy Doe, fought back tears as she read a prepared statement.
“We are pleased with this decision,” she said. “We only wish that this would have been the judge’s verdict Nov. 8 for both Preston Odle and Levi Evans.
“This has been a long time coming, but we at least finally got justice for this little puppy’s horrific torture and murder. We do appreciate all the efforts to get us to this point,” she said.
Editor’s note: Brad Gaskins is editor of The Weakley County Press in Martin.
Published in The Messenger 2.5.13