Appomattox Co., VA - An Appomattox County man who was convicted of illegally setting a hunting trap on his neighbor's property, leading to the death of their beloved dog, has been sentenced.
Steven Gregory Jones, Jr. who pleaded guilty to felony animal abuse in October of 2013 was sentenced Wednesday twelve months. The judge suspended all but two months of that sentence. Jones will also be required to pay $1,300.00 in restitution.
Edward Ferguson says his black lab mix, always greeted him at the front porch as he was leaving for work.
But on November 29, 2012, she was nowhere to be found. He began a personal mission to find justice.
"Every day, she was lying at my truck...waiting for me to come out," Edward said of his 5 1/2 year-old lab named "Lexis."
Prosecutors say his former neighbor, Steven Jones, Jr., admitted to cutting out the dog's tongue when he discovered it had been caught in a trap he illegally set on the Ferguson's property. He had been warned several times not to hunt there, Ferguson said.
This veterinarian's report details the gruesome injuries, comparing the sharp cut across "Lexis'" tongue to a "filleted fish."
"It looked like the guy picked the dog up by the trap and pulled the tongue out of its mouth," Ferguson added.
Veterinarians told the Ferguson's without euthanasia, "Lexis" would have choked on her own saliva.
She stayed strong until the very end.
"We took her into the vet's office and she walked in there, just like there wasn't a thing wrong with her. She was still wagging her tail," Ferguson recalled of the last time he saw her.
It's been a year since Ferguson said good-bye.
But he's never quite let go of his five-year, four-legged companion.
"The court needs to stand up. The animals can't talk for themselves, just like Lexis can't talk for herself. If I don't stand up for her, ain't nobody gonna stand up for her," Ferguson added.