John Michael Wimmer, 27, was charged with beating a dog to death (Photo: Police/WVNS)
A puppy killer who bludgeoned a dog to death next to an elementary school has been jailed for 10 years.
John Michael Wimmer, 27, pleaded guilty in August to animal cruelty in Princetown, West Virginia, and was handed the jail term at a hearing on Tuesday.
He beat up the puppy in the yard of his apartment complex in January, which was in full view of an elementary school where children were attending classes.
Wimmer placed the 8-week-old puppy onto a log and bludgeoned it to death with a piece of firewood, police said.
He then fled the scene and led police on a high-speed chase around his neighborhood.
The puppy’s owner and Wimmer’s cousin, Justin McKinley Mitchelson, was also charged with felony animal cruelty. He is currently being hunted by police after failing to appear before a court.
Justin McKinley Michaelson, Wimmer’s cousin and the puppy’s owner, was also charged with a felony animal cruelty (Photo: Police)
Wimmer later told police that the puppy had consumed Lysol and had to be put out of its misery, but after performing a necropsy, a veterinarian said that the puppy had not consumed anything toxic.
Wimmer’s grandmother, Louise Wimmer, spoke on behalf of the puppy killer in court and said he had a great affection for animals.
‘John loves animals,’ Wimmer told the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, ‘He didn’t do this out of meanness.’
Mitchelson also has a history of arrests and drug addiction, and he said in court that he wanted to turn his life around after this incident.
‘I’m not a bad person,’ he said. ‘My greatest achievement in life is going to be overcoming myself.’
Judge William Sadler, who presided over the hearing, said he was ‘suspicious’ that Wimmer beat the puppy to death instead of taking the dog to a veterinarian.
‘Another thing I find disturbing is this was done in view of the school,’ Sadler said.
Wimmer was sentenced on for a felony animal cruelty charge and for fleeing police.
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