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Man who allegedly beat dog to death set to appear in court

Published: Jan. 22, 2018 at 10:36 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2018 at 11:49 AM EST
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Axel, a Labrador puppy, was adopted from New Hanover County Animal Services on Dec. 1. (Source:...
Axel, a Labrador puppy, was adopted from New Hanover County Animal Services on Dec. 1. (Source: NHCSO)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A man charged in an animal abuse case that resulted in a dog's death is scheduled to make his first appearance in New Hanover County court on Tuesday.

According to Lt. Jerry Brewer with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, Christopher Simpson, 21, is charged with cruelty to animals after allegedly beating a dog to death on Christmas Day.

Brewer said Simpson's girlfriend's parents adopted the Labrador puppy, Axel, on Dec. 1 and Simpson and the family were at the parents' home on Christmas day.

At some point, Simpson was left alone with the dog. Not long after the other people left the residence, Simpson called his girlfriend saying Axel had peed on the floor and when Simpson reached down toward the animal, Axel bit him.

When the family returned, they couldn't find Axel and asked Simpson where the dog was. Simpson told them Axel was near a building on the property and said he didn't realize his own strength while trying to discipline the dog.

According to Brewer, Dr. Smith at Paws and Claws who examined Axel said the dog died of blunt force trauma and added that he had never seen a case of abuse this severe. Smith said the dog could have only suffered from his injuries through repeatedly being punched and kicked and that Axel's liver "looked like ground hamburger" after the alleged abuse.

Simpson is scheduled to appear in Courtroom 100 at the New Hanover County Courthouse Tuesday at 2 p.m.

Back in July 2015, Simpson was charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty after he allegedly injured a three-month-old kitten. On the same date, he was also charged with assault on a female and battery of an unborn child.

District Attorney Jon David said all the charges were dropped after the alleged victim declined to cooperate with prosecutors.

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