'I killed the dog': Jeffersonville man accused of animal cruelty, assault

Updated: Aug. 21, 2018 at 12:52 AM EDT
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Jerry Matthews (Source: News and Tribune)
Jerry Matthews (Source: News and Tribune)

News and Tribune

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (NEWS AND TRIBUNE) - A Jeffersonville man was arrested after police say he killed a puppy and assaulted a relative.

Jerry B. Matthews Jr., 27, was arrested Sunday after Jeffersonville police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at Claysburg Towers. On arrival, they spoke with Matthews and the relative, who said he had lived with her there for about three months.

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"I killed the dog," Matthews told police twice when they arrived and asked him about the disturbance, according to court records. He said the dog "had black eyes" and "it was possessed."

The relative told police that on Sunday, Matthews began yelling at her 3-month-old pitbull, repeatedly kicking and stomping the puppy.

When the relative tried to get Matthews to stop, he allegedly grabbed her and threw her into a wall before she was able to get free and call 911. Police found the puppy in the bathroom, deceased. The woman had red marks on her arm where Matthews had allegedly grabbed her, according to the report.

Matthews denied any drug use and told police he was not on any medication and did not suffer from a mental illness. He was arrested and placed in the Clark County jail.

Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said the case is one of the most disturbing animal cruelty cases that he's seen.

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"It just absolutely takes your breath away to read the details of this vicious attack on this puppy," he said. "The position of the prosecutor from the beginning of this case is that there will be no plea offers made. We will be pursuing a conviction and the maximum sentence to be executed in prison."

Matthews could face charges of domestic battery and animal cruelty, but formal charges aren't expected to be filed until Tuesday.

Aprile Rickert is the crime and courts reporter at the News and Tribune. Contact her via email at aprile.rickert@newsandtribune.com or by phone at 812-206-2115. Follow her on Twitter: @Aperoll27.

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