published Friday, June 1st, 2012

East Tennessee man pleads guilty in dog torture

An East Tennessee man pleaded guilty in the torture killing of his family's dog, telling the court he was abusing bath salts, alcohol, pain pills and heroin at the time.

The Johnson City Press reported 22-year-old Dustin Ricky Harrell entered his plea Wednesday in Washington County Criminal Court. He was charged with aggravated animal abuse.

Investigators said Harrell tortured a 4-pound Yorkshire terrier in November, throwing it down the stairs, holding its head under water and putting it in a clothes dryer. He then told his family the dog had been hit by a car.

Sentencing was scheduled for July 10.

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