Preston Sizemore

Preston Scott Sizemore, 18, of Princeton was arrested Jan. 22 and charged with torture and malicious killing of an animal, according to the criminal complaint filed by Detective Sgt. S.A. Sommers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

PRINCETON — A Mercer County man who shot a dog in December 2018 and then posted the dead canine’s picture on Facebook pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor offense of cruelty to animals.

Preston Scott Sizemore, 18, of Princeton was arrested Jan. 22 and charged with torture and malicious killing of an animal, according to the criminal complaint filed by Detective Sgt. S.A. Sommers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department.

Sizemore appeared Monday before Circuit Court Judge William Sadler for a pretrial hearing. During that hearing, Sizemore pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor offense of cruelty to animals, according to court records at the Mercer County Circuit Clerk’s Office. A June sentencing date was set.

The case started Jan. 14 after a Mercer County resident reported an act of animal abuse, Detective Sgt. S.A. Sommers of the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department said after Sizemore when Sizemore was arraigned in magistrate court. This person said that between Dec. 14 and 20, 2018, a dog came to his mother’s home. During that time, she cared for it and posted its photograph on social media in an attempt to find its owner or find it a new home.

The dog, which appeared to be pit bull and terrier mix, was “non-aggressive and friendly,” but appeared to be either deaf or hard of hearing, Sommers said in his report. On about Dec. 20, 2018, a new home had been found for the dog. The dog escaped its new owners and was found Dec. 24, 2018 at Young’s Mobile Home Park off WV Route 10. One of the park’s residents posted pictures of the dog on Facebook in an attempt to find its owner.

On Dec. 28, 2018, a photo that had been posted on Sizemore’s Facebook page was sent to the complainant’s mother, Sommers said. One photo showed the dog in a kennel and another showed the dog dead with “something tied around its snout and blood on the back of its head: it had been shot.”

During a conversation on Facebook Messenger, Sizemore admitted to shooting the dog, saying that it was aggressive and had bit him and his sister, and revealed that it was on Rock River Road, Sommers said in the report. The dog was not recovered.

Sizemore came to the sheriff’s department and spoke with Sommers. After waiving his Miranda Rights, he stated that he did shoot the dog. Sizemore said “he did not intend to post the picture of the dog deceased, but did intend to post the picture of the dog in the kennel in an attempt to find the owner.”

During the interview, Sizemore stated that the dog bit him the day he found it when he arrived at his sister’s residence he held the dog in a headlock so they could put a muzzle on his so he couldn’t bite but could still drink water and eat,” Sommers said in his report. While the dog was at his home, it “acted crazy, chasing its own shadow,” and later bit his sister.

“After it bit his sister he took the dog to Rock River Road, where he shot it,” Sommers stated. When Sizemore was asked if he or his sister reported an animal bite or called county animal control, he said no.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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