A Headland man pleaded guilty Thursday to six felony counts aggravated animal cruelty stemming from deputies finding evidence a pit bull dog had attacked another and eaten the dog out of hunger.
Attorney Cada Carter said his client, 26-year-old Quenton Eugene Mathis, pleaded guilty Thursday to six felony counts of aggravated cruelty to animals in front of Circuit Court Judge Larry Anderson. Carter said his client received a six-year sentence for each charge, which was ordered to be served concurrently with each other for one six-year sentence.
Carter said his client applied for probation, which will be heard and ruled on by the court on Nov. 4. He also said Henry County Sheriff’s deputies took his client into custody after the hearing when his client tested positive for marijuana in court. The court ordered Mathis to serve 24 hours in the Henry County Jail upon the positive drug test.
Henry County Sheriff’s investigators arrested Mathis in November 2015 on the animal cruelty charges. Mathis’ wife, 26-year-old Ashley Nicole Mathis, has similar charges that remain pending against her.
According to earlier Eagle report, Henry County Sheriff’s investigators said the charges stemmed from deputies accompanying officials with the Henry County Department of Human Resources as they went to the couple’s home to take custody of their 4-year-old son. When deputies arrived they found nobody at the home, which is located a mile or two outside the city limits of Headland in the 1500 block of Henry County Road 45.
Deputies found the remains of a half eaten pit bull dog inside the home near another pit bull dog.
“The one inside got hungry enough to eat the other dog,” Lt. James S. Culbreath said. “I don’t know exactly when the attack in the home took place.”
Culbreath said the y found four pit bull dogs who had no food or water and appeared very emaciated with many of their ribs clearly visible. He said two of the dogs could hardly walk because they were so undernourished.
Investigators said they learned the family had moved out of the home two to three weeks prior to police arriving, and apparently left the six dogs and chicken behind.