A Florida man in Manatee County was arrested on child and animal abuse charges after he lynched a Navy veteran’s emotional support dog for barking too much.
Robert Leroy Edwards was taken into custody after strangling Midnight, an emotional support dog belonging to disabled Navy veteran Richard Hunt. Midnight was visiting Hunt’s son and staying on the property at the time of the murder.
Edwards hung the dog with an electrical cord and then asked a minor inside of his residence to help him dump the body. When the child refused, authorities claim Edwards punched the youth in the face.
“It’s so terrible what he did to that dog,” Hunt told WFLA. “I keep thinking about how my dog suffered and how she looked at him and cried a whimper to try to get away, it’s just terrible. What kind of person can do that? It’s disgusting.”
Hunt was devastated by the death of Midnight, and plans to exhaust all available legal options in an effort to bring Edwards to justice.
“He needs to have the book thrown at him. And if the book’s not heavy enough, we need to find more books, said Hunt. “That’s just how I feel about it.”
According to Florida State Statute 828.12, “A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done, commits aggravated animal cruelty,” and will be charged with a felony of the third degree. In addition, the violator would potentially be subject to massive fines, prison time and mandatory psychological counseling.
Edwards currently resides in Manatee County Jail and is being held without bond.
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