By Susan Spencer -Wendel Palm Beach Post.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – An Atlantis man pleaded guilty this morning to animal cruelty in a plea deal that will send him to prison for a year and a day.
According to a police record, 40-year-old Kenneth Hall slit the throat of his 8-year-old white-and-beige pit bull-lab mix Fancy last year. Hall told a judge this morning that he is being treated for a mental illness. He was immediately taken into custody following his plea. He made no comment as to why he did such a thing.
Animal cruelty is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Hall was adjudicated guilty, meaning the felony conviction for the crime will appear on his record.
Last May, a friend told police Hall brought Fancy over to his house but Fancy began scrapping with the his dog so Hall tied Fancy to a lamppost outside. Hall later told the man he was going outside to “put Fancy out of her misery.”
The friend said Hall untied the dog, pulled a pocketknife, and cut her throat. He then cut the dog’s throat a second time and also stabbed it on both sides, then began to cry and hold the dog.
Hall later told deputies Fancy and the other dog had gotten into a fight so he decided to put her down. He said he stabbed her more than once “to speed up the process,” a police report said.
“Hall added ‘Fancy was a great dog. I loved her and did not want her to suffer any more,’” the report said.
But the friend said Fancy appeared unharmed after the scrap with the other dog.
Hall’s girlfriend later said she and Hall had fought the previous night, and Atlantis police had become involved. She said Hall had called her around 2 a.m. to say he’d killed the dog, adding, “I told you if you call the cops I was going to kill her.”
Palm Beach County Jail records show Hall was arrested eight times between 2003 and 2007, on charges that include probation violation, DUI, and domestic battery. Hall was sentenced in 2004 to 17 months in state prison on a conviction for DUI with serious injury, but got credit for the time he’d served in the county jail, records show.
Staff writer Eliot Kleinberg contributed to this report.
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