Jacksonville man reportedly shot and killed three dogs, avoids animal cruelty charges


Three dogs were shot in early May at a Jacksonville residence and after a month-long investigation, detectives determined the man they say was responsible will not be charged with animal cruelty.

In an email to the Daily News, Onslow County District Attorney Ernie Lee confirmed that Brandon Harris, 22, would not be charged with shooting and killing three dogs on the morning of May 5.

The dogs were among the 10 in total in his care at the time of the incident.

At the end of the investigation between Onslow County Animal Services and the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office, detectives said Harris shot and killed the dogs because they were fighting and he couldn’t separate them , injuring himself in the process.

Looking back: Jacksonville man investigated for allegedly shooting, killing three dogs

How it started

MPs were called to Harris’s address at 193 Liberty Park Rd after a neighbor reported gunshots. The appeal was made by neighbor Jim Dietrich, who added that one of the bullets went through his private fence in his backyard.

Dietrich then posted home security footage of Ring showing Harris firing a handgun. While it is difficult to distinguish Harris’ exact movements in the 30-second clip, Dietrich also posted photos of the deceased dogs.

Assistant District Attorney Bob Roup reviewed the detective’s findings and reported that two of the dogs killed belonged to Harris’ sister-in-law, and one belonged to him.

The sister-in-law does not ask for further charges.

Harris allegedly monitored the dogs after the sister-in-law, who lives on the base, attempted to inappropriately bring her dogs into the facility.

Roupe went on to say that the owner of the dogs had not played a role in Harris’ accusation. “In this case, there was evidence that the dogs had attacked Mr. Harris, as evidenced by the puncture wounds to Mr. Harris’s arm and leg which were documented by law enforcement.”

OCSO and Harris’ stepfather James Leach have confirmed that Harris has been bitten multiple times. Leach added that her stepson sought medical attention at a local hospital due to the extent of his injuries.

Onslow Animal Control Director Richard Gabbert explained that the evidence of the dogfights stemmed from Harris’s statement about the incident, an analysis of the scene and video footage showing two dogs in pinning another to the ground when the shooting started.

The first hits were not recorded as the Facebook video began after the initial attack.

Reports show two earlier incidents days before filming

OCAS released two Harris Neighbors complaint reports in the week and a half leading up to the May 5 incident.

On April 26, OCAS officers responded to Harris’ home after a complaint was filed against dogs fighting in the home.

The caller said he heard the dogs fighting on his security camera and claimed one of them had died, according to the report. The deceased dog was not found at Harris’ home, as the report says the dog was taken for cremation.

During their initial investigation, officers determined that conditions at Harris’ home were not acceptable for the dogs and gave him 24 hours to clean the property. A follow-up inspection was carried out the next day.

“A smell of urine and feces was noted inside the house. Dirt and feces were inside the kennels where they housed the dogs,” Gabbert said in an email. . “The owner (Harris) had 24 hours to clean the property. Agents responded to the address on April 27 for a re-inspection. The property was clean and the inspection was successful.”

On May 4, a day before the shooting, OCAS received a call regarding the barking dogs. The complaint was due to the dogs barking inside the house during the day, which officers told Harris about Onslow’s barking order.

Roupe added that OCAS did not issue a warrant for either of the incidents involving a dead dog and did not recommend a warrant to the prosecutor in both cases.

In the Onslow County Animal Services Ordinance Code, Chapter 4, Section 8, it says “It is illegal for any person to abuse, molest, torture, torment, deprive of necessary food. , beat or cruelly treat, mutilate or kill unnecessarily, injure, injure, poison, abandon or subject an animal to conditions detrimental to its health or general well-being, or provoke or provoke such actions.

Leach, Roupe and Onslow County officials expressed concern over Harris’ conduct that day, but after discussing the OCSO and OCAS findings, Roupe found insufficient evidence to show the cruelty towards animals.

Family talks about DA’s decision

Survey booths: man accused of shooting, killing dogs in limbo; the family demands transparency

Because Harris is an active duty Marine stationed aboard Camp Lejeune, his stepfather mentioned that he was advised not to discuss the matter.

Instead, Leach used her time to broadcast the family version of the story.

After the May 5 incident, Leach explained that some of the remaining dogs were brought back to Ohio while the rest remained in Harris’ care.

Onslow County officials initially said Harris relinquished custody of the two remaining animals while OCSO and OCAS continued their investigation, but it was later discovered that he had not done so. Detectives said the remaining dogs were no longer a threat.

Leach said he was also aware of the first incident where a dog was found dead in his stepson’s home and that at the time he believed a wild animal, possibly a snake, had bitten the dog, causing his death.

The family remains in shock over the incident while hoping for an understanding from the Marine Corps.

“He’s very stressed out about the situation and we try not to tell him or talk about it. It’s terrible what happened,” Leach pleaded. “I don’t really know what else to say about it, it’s a no-win situation, but what happened to the dogs was terrible.”

In an email to the Daily News, Captain Robert Vachon, responsible for communications strategy and operations, explained that the investigation is typical of this process and that there is no indication of the exact date when it will end.

“Administrative, procedural and / or non-judicial actions resulting from the findings of the investigation will be adopted at a later date in accordance with applicable instructions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) if applicable,” Vachon added.

Harris was initially arrested by the OCSO and charged with using a firearm within 500 feet of a home and the tort of injuring personal property.

Those charges remain as his next court date is set for July 14 in Onslow County District Court.

Journalist Trevor Dunnell can be contacted by email at [email protected] Please consider supporting local journalism by signing up for a digital subscription for as little as $ 1 per month. JDNews.com. Subscribe now

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