Thomas Huggins is accused of killing, skinning, and cooking his own dog, and he took the stand in his own defense Thursday to explain why he did it.
"The reason I put it down because it was getting bigger and aggressive. I didn't have anybody I could sell it to," Huggins said.
Huggins said the 1-year-old pitbull named Bandit had to go. He said if he gave her to animal services, they would euthanize her, so he says he decided to do it instead.
Under questioning, Huggins testified that he killed the dog with his bare hands and a plastic bag.
"So it wouldn't suffer," he said.
Even the defendant's sister was shocked when she learned what had happened to "Bandit." Her testimony revealed that parts of the dog were in a plastic trash bag.
"He showed me Bandit's head in a bag," said Monica Huggins.
Prosecutors say Bandit suffered a cruel and brutal death at the hands of the defendant.
While the state was not allowed to share certain details with the jury, investigators said they discovered the ribs of the pitbull in a cooking pot.
The defendant admitted eating some of the meat.
A veterinarian who examined the remains couldn't determine how the dog died.
And the defense told the jury there is no evidence the dog ever suffered.
Yet the defendants own words may prove something else.
"I couldn't tie the cloth down cause she kept kicking it and stuff," Huggins said.
It took the jury less than an hour to find Huggins guilty of animal cruelty. He will be sentenced December 19th; he faces up to five years in prison.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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