Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Charges: Man Starved, Beat Pit Bulls Dead

A Minneapolis man has been charged with three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in connection with the deaths of two pit bulls last year.

According to charges filed by the City Attorney, Torrence Cortez Epps, 24, tied the dogs to a tree outside, without food or shelter, a condition in which the dogs were repeatedly discovered when authorities responded to neighbors' complaints.

The dogs were discovered at the home on the 1400 block of Sixth Street Northeast last September by representatives of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control and the Minneapolis Police. According to the charges, one dog was found lying on the ground, totally emaciated.

Another pit bull was found dead nearby, similarly emaciated. Police observed the ground had been dug up, where another pit bull's body was found buried.

When talking with WCCO-TV reporter James Schugel last year, a neighbor who didn't wish to be identified described the dogs being too weak to whine or bark for help when being beaten. The neighbor said they had been beaten with a shovel.

There were upwards of 20 calls made to 911 emergency services in 2008, according to 911 records.

If convicted, Epps faces up to 90 days in prison for each of the three charges, as well as fines up to $1,000 on each charge.

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