UPDATE: Men accused of killing puppy indicted

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UPDATE: Feb 13 2020 10:45 a.m. PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — Two men are indicted by a Mercer County grand jury after allegedly beating a puppy to death.

Justin Mitchelson and John Wimmer are facing charges of cruelty to an animal, conspiracy, and interference with officers by providing false information.

Mitchelson and Wimmer will appear in front of Judge Swope on Monday, February 24, 2020.


UPDATE: Jan. 16 2020 6:20 p.m. PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — Justin Mitchelson appeared in Mercer County Magistrate Court for a preliminary hearing on Thursday, January 16, 2020.

Mitchelson and John Wimmer were arrested after allegedly beating a puppy to death. Mitchelson claimed the puppy got into Lysol and they were trying to put it out of its misery.

Senior Trooper David Whited was a witness in the trial. He said Mitchelson did not attempt to seek medical attention for the puppy before it was beaten to death. Whited said people need to be aware of the actions they can take if an animal is sick.

“Anything regarding animals, people can contact Mercer County Animal Control, Mercer County Animal Shelter. They have free veterinary clinics that will work on these animals no matter the condition, free of charge of course,” Whited said.

Whited said the puppy’s remains are still at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA being examined for further evidence.


UPDATE: Jan. 10, 2020 7:00 p.m. BLUEWELL, WV (WVNS) — Two men were arrested on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020 in Bluewell after reportedly beating a puppy to death in a yard.

John Wimmer and Justin Mitchelson are behind bars after authorities were called to the Kinzer apartment complex Thursday afternoon for an animal cruelty complaint. That is where law enforcement found the puppy’s beaten, lifeless body on the ground.

Mercer County animal control officer, Kallie Conley, said, “It was very devastating.”

Mitchelson told troopers the puppy was his, and she was sick from getting into Lysol cleaning spray and suffering. Court documents stated Mitchelson watched Wimmer put the dog on a stump and beat it to death with a stick.

According to police reports, it all happened just feet away from Bluewell elementary school, at pick up time.

In fact, it was a woman picking up children from school who saw it and called 911.

One parent said, “They need to move the school, that’s what they need to do, or shut this building down.”
“It’s scary that someone who lives that close to a school would do that,” said another.

Chief Deputy, Captain Joe Parks, said, “I can only imagine parents outrage at someone doing something like that especially in front of their children.”

Parks said Mercer County animal control officers retrieved the puppy from the scene and took it to Blacksburg, VA for examinations.

“We have quite a bit of cruelty in this county that we try and deal with the best we can along with a lot of neglect that happens in the county, but this is definitely different because of how brutal it was,” said Conley.

John Wimmer was arrested and charged with False Information and felony animal cruelty. Justin Mitchelson was arrested and charged with Obstructing, Permitting DUI, and Disorderly Conduct. Both men are held at Southern Regional Jail.


ORIGINAL: Jan. 10, 2020 1:00 p.m. BLUEWELL, MERCER COUNTY — Two men are behind bars after state troopers found a dead puppy on a hillside in Mercer County, according to court documents.

A criminal complaint stated a woman picking children up from Bluewell Elementary School saw a man beating a puppy with a stick and another man watched. The woman was able to give a description of the two men.

The trooper was called to an apartment complex for an animal cruelty complaint, and found the dead dog. He also found a man who matched the description the 911 caller gave. Justin Mitchelson told troopers the dog was his. He added the puppy was sick from getting into Lysol cleaning spray and suffering.

Court documents stated Mitchelson watched John Wimmer put the dog on a piece of firewood and beat it to death with a large stick.

John Wimmer was arrested and charged with False Information and Cruelty to Animals.

Justin Mitchelson was arrested and charged with Obstructing, Permitting DUI, and Disorderly Conduct. Both are being held in the Southern Regional Jail.

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